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Nitrate - Renegade Award winner

by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 11 August 2021, 1:40 PM

The melodic approach on Hard Rock, called AOR, is back. As written on previous reviews, the genre was born in late 70’s, became a massive commercial success during the 80’s, but came to ostracism back in the 90’s. But one thing changed: the USA isn’t the pole for it anymore, because countries in Europe as Sweden and Finland are the strong scenes for such musical model, But, it doesn’t mean that other countries can’t have strong bands as well, and NITRATE proves it, because the band’s third album, “Renegade”, is really a very good release on the genre.

As the previous paragraph shows, the band (in reality, a project lead by the English bass player Nick Hogg, which changes the lineup in each release) works on a melodic and accessible form of AOR similar to Arena Rock names from the 80’s as BON JOVI, JOURNEY, BAD ENGLISH and DEF LEPPARD (on “Pyromania”/“Histeria” age). Yes, the same elements can be heard on the band’s music (very good guitar riffs and solos on a Richie Sambora vein, catchy chorus with excellent backing vocals, a strong rhythmic work on bass guitar and drums, and very good keyboards parts), but in a personal way. So let yourself be hooked by this album. Produced by Tom and James Martin with Mikey Wilson, and with the mastering signed by Alessandro Del Vecchio, everything sounds loud, clean and defined, as an AOR album must be. But pay attention, because the modern definition used by names of the past few years is present as well No one is trying to emulate what was already done).

Eleven hooking songs are waiting for the listeners, so be prepared to surrender as songs as “Danger Zone” (excellent melodies and vocals, and what great chorus), “Renegade” (a seductive energy comes from its guitar riffs, but always respecting the accessible approach of the genre, and another great chorus with great backing vocals is heard), “You Think You’ve Got It” (a song with a clear tendency for Glam Metal’s crude energy in some moments, besides the silk ambience created by the keyboards and a strong work on bass guitar and drums), “Why Can’t You Feel My Love” (a power ballad that would be a massive success in the radios in the 80’s, with careful arrangements of the keyboards and very good vocals), “Children of the Lost Brigade” (another catchy set of melodies fed by strong guitars, and a heavy work on bass guitar and drums), “Alibi” (another fine moment from the keyboards, contrasting in a very good way with the vocals and charming guitar solo), and “Edge of Surrender” (a massive Glam Metal/AOR song, with careful arrangements and accessible appeal).

NITRATE isn’t creating anything new, but puts its personality in their music. At the end of all, listen to “Renegade” out loud and enjoy it.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. Danger Zone
2. Renegade
3. You Think You’ve Got It
4. Big City Lights
5. Why Can’t You Feel My Love
6. Children of the Lost Brigade
7. Addicted
8. Alibi
9. Lay Down Your Arms
10. Edge of Surrender
11. Take Me Back
Alexander Strandell - Vocals
Dario Nikzad - Guitars (Lead)
Tom Martin - Guitars (Rhythm)
Nick Hogg - Bass
James Martin - Keyboards
Mikey Wilson - Drums, Additional Guitars, Additional Keyboards
Alessandro Del Vecchio - Backing Vocals
Record Label: AOR Heaven


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