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Phenomena - Awakening

by YngwieViking at 02 April 2012, 8:13 PM

Some songs are immense… Some are just regular AOR/ Melodic Hard Rock numbers stuff… But it's almost like every PHENOMENA's concept release. The musicianship is very accurate and the production by Martin Kronlund (DOGFACE / GYPSY ROSE / SALUTE / LEE SMALL) is flawless. The shadow of mighty Glenn Hughes, one of the pillar of the early albums by PHENOMENA, haunts of his enlightenment the whole album… This is I think a good point,as it gave an unity to the whole recording… Without him singing even one note!

Lee Small (ex-SHY / CLOVEN HOOF / SURVEILLANCE / OMEGA) is the clear winner among the competitors here… He is shining brightly here… Whilst singing 2 of the best track with passion and heart,that could have been composed for any 80's record by the project and obviously his voice is so close to that GH's one! The track "Homeland" was written by PHENOMENA's master mind Tom Galley for the GH's Comeback album "From Now On" in 1994… Here well performed by Rob Moratti (ex-SAGA / FINAL FRONTIER)… And finally ironically the only one to keep his specificities.The other singers seems to have also fell under the Hughes influence and fascination spell, but Ithink the melodic vocals lines,were written in his true fashion spirit & style, thereby explain why: Terry Brock / Mike DiMeoor COLDSPELL's Niklas Swedentorp are very close to Hughes typical soulful rendition, but we could also heard some Ray Gillen evocation, (Another important member of the early team (RIP)) in the track "fighter" & "reality" sung by Toby Hitchcock (PRIDE OF LIONS) with a superb sololead break by Mike Slamer (ex-STREETS / STEELHOUSE LANE)… Ralf Scheepers is outstanding as always, but he's singing in a quite different style than is regular performances, exit is HALFORDian howling for a more 80's Rock type like HEADPINS, matching with his SOLNA's appearance in 2008…

Low points are: Some too cheap keyboards from time to time,the song "Going Away" with James Christian (HOUSE OF LORDS)who struggle hard unluckily with a particulary flat songwrting…The average last AOR track "Stand Up For Love"…Anyway the album is quite enjoyable, it could rejoice most PHENOMENA's followers and never suffers from the lack of homogeneity, typical for this kind of CDs… 

4 Star Rating

1. Smash It Up
2. Reality
3. Homeland
4. Going Away
5. Gotta Move
6. How Long
7. Shake
8. Fighter
9. Dancing Days
10. Stand Up For Love
Martin Kronlund – Guitars / Bass
Tom Harlan– Guitars / Keyboards
Per Aronson-Andersson, Fredrik Bergh -Keyboards
Magnus Karlsson, Mike Slamer,Tommy Denander, Martin Kronlund, Christian Wolff - Lead Guitar
Lee Small,Toby Hitchcock Rob Moratti, James Christian, Ralf Scheepers, Mike DiMeo, Terry Brock, Niklas Swedentorp, Chris Antblad - Lead Vocals
Henrik Thomsen, Mat Sinner -Bass
Imre Daun- Drums
Record Label: Escape Music


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Edited 30 November 2022

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