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Resurrection Kings - Skygazer

Resurrection Kings
Skygazer
by Chris Hicklin at 11 October 2021, 2:54 PM

One of the first things to note about Resurrection Kings is that the line-up has real pedigree. These are big names in Rock, the Appice drumming dynasty is represented here in Vinny who has worked with giants like DIO and SABBATH, guitarist Craig Goldy has also played with DIO and remains an active and key member of DIO DISCIPLES, and bassist Sean McNabb is an alumni of Metal giants QUIET RIOT as well as having had a short stay in DOKKEN. With all that said, it is then a head scratcher how this group of highly talented individuals have managed to produce something as remarkably unremarkable as Skygazer, an album which practically begs you to forget about it the second you turn it off.

First track (and title) track “Skygazer” is a perfectly perfunctory metal track with a perfectly unwelcome flange effect over a drum intro, and even though there is plenty of absolutely blistering lead work done by Craig Goldy, the track manages to go on for over five minutes without ever really going anywhere.
Track three, “Tears,” is a blues rock track with a riff you’ve heard a hundred times, but punctuated with incongruous metal choruses, the two styles feel unnaturally rammed together, it doesn’t work for me.

Close your eyes on “Troubled Soul” and you might believe you were listening to classic WHITESNAKE with its hook laden, guitar-backed verses, and belting vocals, this is one of the better tracks on the album, but still derivative. Sadly, the vocals are way too loud and are a bit ambitious for the state of Chas West’s voice, which is powerful, but struggles to hold the note accurately when using all his power, had they dialled this back a bit it would not have been noticeable or a problem, but putting it front and centre is a mistake, and one they make a few times on this album.

Penultimate track “Set Me on Fire” continues in much the same vein, but with much less interesting guitar riffs, again there is some incredible soloing from Goldy though. The song fails to amount to anything memorable but sports a nifty keyboard and guitar run to finish.

The album ends with the slickest and most successful track “Calling All Angels”, which finally balances all the instruments and vocals correctly. The main riff is a tight fast palm muted affair that sounds great, the chorus finally has that moment where you feel it in your stomach and want to sing, there’s a wild and spacey keyboard solo as well. If only they had got the rest of the album this right.

Part of the problem with Skygazer is the uneven song writing, but even more crucial to the album’s general aesthetic failure is the subpar job done on the production. There is too much bass on this album, by which I do not mean that the bass guitar is too loud, but rather that the bass frequencies of all the instruments are pushed up too high resulting in the actual instruments, including the bass, being rendered obscure and hard to differentiate. The worst victim of this sonic crime is the drums, the life has been sucked out of them and they are lost in the mix, the nuances of Appice’s detailed style are lost.

The biggest saving grace here is the high aptitude of all the players involved, the poor recording notwithstanding, there is some superb musicianship on display, and the final track is a genuine triumph both of performance and writing. Without those, this album would be below a median score, it is thanks to the high quality of the playing and “Calling All Angels” that it is pushed to a six.

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 5
Production: 4

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Skygazer
2. World’s on Fire
3. Tears
4. Fight Against Our Pride
5. Angry Demons
6. Savior of Souls
7. Don’t Blame Our Love
8. Is This the End
9. Troubled Soul
10. Set Me on Fire
11. Calling All Angels
Lineup:
Chas West - vocals
Craig Goldy - guitar
Sean McNabb - bass guitar
Vinny Appice – drums
Record Label: Frontiers Music SRL
     


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