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Michael Sweet - One Sided War Award winner

Michael Sweet
One Sided War
by Bruno Diniz at 24 December 2016, 5:07 AM

Michael Sweet releases his seventh solo album called "One Sided Ward", through Rat Pak Records, keeping the same trail of "I'm Not Your Suicide", but this time heavier. Both are very different from the predecessor "Touched" and previous albums, dominated by ballads and a well-marked feeling of the singer. This time the frontman of STRYPER brings Hard Rock / Metal with a masterful quality, counting with the musicians Joel Hoekstra (guitar) from WHITESNAKE, Ethan Brosh (guitar), John O'Boyle (bass) and Will Hunt (drums )  from EVANESCENCE.

Usually, I start the music section with the first track, but this time I'll open the exception to highlight the beautiful and optimistic "Only You". The song starts with a mini drum solo followed by powerful guitar riffs, besides a thunderous chorus. With very warm and reflective lyrics, this song has some Pop influences from the nineties reminding me of bands like BON JOVI. Now we can walk to the song that starts the album: "Bizzare" demonstrating Sweet's intention to bring a faster and heavier sound with emphasis on lead guitars and a powerful vocal for his listeners. The title track "One Sided Ward" slows the pace down a little bit, bringing distorted vocals and the presence of backing vocals.

 "Can´t Take This Life" is sung in two versions, one by Sweet himself and another by the talented 16-year-old singer and guitar player Moriah Formica. In both versions we can feel the drums and bass pulsating through all the music apart from showing a remarkable chorus. "Radio" and "One Way" make room for a country/hard rock spirit to further enhance the album's diversity. "Golden Age" accelerates the rhythm again, bringing a classic melodic heavy metal, with many passages of lead guitar and a great solo. "I am" is pure hard rock, where the singer seems to have enough fun with extended vocals. "Who am I" is the first and only Glam ballad on the album. An interesting fact about "You Make Me Wanna" is that the solo is played by Sweet himself. "Comfort Zone" closes the list of songs with another groovy rhythm and comforting lyrics.

I confess that I was surprised by this new album by MICHAEL SWEET. In the midst of so many works like, book launching, guest appearances on other albums, and a busy schedule with STRYPER. I wrongly expected something more rushed and less elaborate on the album. But what I witnessed in the end result was actually a masterpiece, mixing various musical styles with exceptional skill.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 8
Production: 9

5 Star Rating

1. Bizarre
2. One Sided War
3. Can't Take This Life
4. Radio
5. Golden Age
6. Only You
7. I Am
8. Who Am I
9. You Make Me Wanna
10. Comfort Zone
11. One Way Up
12. Can't Take This Life (*bonus track* featuring  Moriah Formica)
Michael Sweet – Lead Vocals
Joel Hoekstra - Guitar
Ethan Brosh - Guitar
 John O'Boyle - Bass
Will Hunt - Drums
Record Label: Rat Pak Records


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Edited 01 February 2023

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