After the amazing related releases by FM and SEVENTH KEY in 2013, I was in a high expectations state when I listened this “Epic” for the first prime time, so maybe it explains why I felt a slight disappointment, well in fact, I am still disappointed and not really fully convinced by that album that I awaited as an early 2014 jewel. To clarify my position, some elements are quite satisfying such as the lead vocals by Legendary Steve Overland (his sensibility and his unbeatable pristine feeling is an undeniable asset for any project), the big juicy guitars (“Wild” and the delicate Prog ambience of “End of the Road”) and the overall sound mix provided by the Wizard of AOR: Mr. Mike Slamer himself are in the absolute perfection.
On the other side, the style displayed is very safe and way too much predictable, expertly crafted but already heard a 1000 times ("Down comes the night" / "If Looks Could Kill"), the AOR genre is dying from being locked in this formula, while in the worst case, tracks such as the opening “Radio Radio” or “Liberate My Heart” sounds like a third rate attempt to reach the Eurovision contest… Maybe the bad running sequence is guilty, or it wasn’t made for guys like me because I know that Khalil Turk and his Escape Music crew are clever and they know what they do business-wise. “If Your Heart's Not In It“ where the players are once again top notch (the rhythmic section is borrowed from UNRULY CHILD) ,reveals some TOTO obvious similarities and “Rock Me” find another way to enhance the focus on the vocal talent of Steve Overland.
I was and still I’m a big fan of the two early albums by OVERLAND, mostly 2008’s "Break Away" and also "Diamond Dealer” (2009) because of their modernity mixed with the precepts of 80’s Melodic Rock, enhancing superb soulful Harmonies with Scandinavian AOR in an heavenly package.
For this third solo album, the FM frontman Steve Overland (ex-WILDLIFE / THE LADDER) and Christian Wolff (MORATTI / ON THE RISE) are teamed together for the first time, helped by the SEVENTH KEY's magic duo of Mike Slamer and Billy Greer (KANSAS) involved in the recordings, if the style is not so uplifted and subtle as I once wished , of course some cuts as “Stranded” / "Rags to Riches" or “Wild” are superb and are worth alone the buying of this silver platter.
1. Radio Radio 2. If Looks Could kill 3. Stranded 4. Rags To Riches 5. Liberate My Heart 6. Down Comes The Night 7. If Your Heart's Not In It 8. Rock Me 9. So This Is Love 10. Wild 10. The End Of The Road
Steve Overland - Lead & Background Vocals Christian Wolff - Lead guitars, Rhythm guitars, Acoustic guitars, Keyboards Mike Slamer - Additional Guitars, Bass, Keyboards Larry Antonino – Bass Jay Schellen – Drums