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Taste - Moral Decay

Taste
Moral Decay
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 21 August 2018, 10:53 PM

One can’t just leave the 80s and be done with it. Melodic Rock and AOR may have been distorted in the 90s but slowly came back to life in the later stages of the first decade of 00s. Countless of examples revamped from their graves or came to be, reprising the radio friendly thingy but with a tinge heavier edge due to modern sound implementations. It has been a while since the last time I reviewed an AOR album but I kept in check of what has been going on, listening to a song here and there from newer bands. I have to admit, Rock in its sweet melodic form, never lost its touch.

The first chapter of the Swedish duo TASTE ended right after the release of their self-titled album, five years ago to be exact. Chances and opportunities came to be and those were taken by both hands to be exploited to their fullest. Until it occurred to the guys that good things have to last and there we have a single and afterwards an inked deal for an album. “Moral Decay”, the sophomore, was released via AOR Heaven, a proper home for this sort of record. TASTE are slowly, and patiently, heading towards the golden gate of this subgenre of Rock music.

So you probably ask what is so special about TASTE that others of the same, past and future, that made me babble. Honestly, there is none because it is tough to be out of the box in this direction. Nonetheless, I believe that TASTE proved themselves right on “Moral Decay”, they knew exactly where to hit, blind spots revealed with ease to puncture the heart of every listener that understands AOR. Songwriting by the book may sound nice, but in order to maintain such influences as FM / DARE / HEARTLAND / GIANT / STRYPER, one has to have more than mere talent. Furthermore, the production quality and guitar work, possibly two of the major aspects of this release, both made a strong difference in my bill for why this album is a winner. AOR always had great productions, but nowadays, newer bands have it hard to recapture the magic of the old days. The Borgs have the keys to the castle. As for the ultimate guitar work, both brothers simply demolished my thought patterns with unrelenting destructive shredding, even if for short periods, it took songs into peaks. Part of the solos are also oozed up with Blues oriented touches, an additional factor that made an impact sealed in stone.

As earlier mentioned, there is nothing overly challenging in the release, however, you won’t feel the need to be challenged, it is a sit back and relax only to be ready for a few thunders. “Lost in Myself” served me right as a tremendous reminder of the early days but with a much better sound production to emphasize its greatness. I know it sounds like a cliché yet it would be hard to argue with the quality on display right here. The song structure might be basic, yet everything just hits the spot and the lead guitar work, exponential. “The Fire Inside” rises up as a rather heavy slow tempo anthem, kind of royal with its spreading haze. Starting off as a classic AOR hitter, similar to the vibe of 1989’s Alannah Myles’s “Black Velvet”, gradually elevating into a higher scale after the first verse. No doubt it has the potential to become a great sing-along tune in a stadium show, a chorus for champions. “Alive” setting off a melodic Hard Rocker. One has to appreciate the coolness of the main riff, presenting an easy to manifest melodic lick. The chorus is atmospheric; keyboards are spot on while the solo section nails it with an artistic emotive driver.

“Adventureland”, with its leading keyboard intro, left a patch of mystery as to where this track is headed. It lasted to be an 80s keyboard laden track flanked by exciting lead guitar work. Felt rather modern in comparison to actual 80s songs, but the spirit is there. “My Own Worst Enemy” is an unforeseen heavy cruncher, exploding into awareness with a rampaging shred soloing right before a semi-relaxation as the vocals begin preaching. Crafted well, makes one look beyond the horizon for a bright future with a song to live up to. “We Are Back”, the album’s early single, slides in as a mid-tempo Hard Rock song, a bit beyond of what to be expected. It didn’t sound too sweet, or greasy, as usually to be desired from silky AOR. I was really impressed by the vocal performance and the songwriting. One of the better tunes of the album.

AOR albums are rare at my table I would give you that, gladly that when I do decide to sit down and tune to such an album, I hit it right (And I didn’t pre-check it beforehand so forget it). TASTE did it good and like I said, they are on the right track. They just have to remain consistent.
 

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. On the Run
2. Alive
3. Dangerous
4. On My Shoulder
5. Rainbow Warrior
6. The Fire Inside
7. Adventureland
8. Moral Decay
9. My Own Worst Enemy
10. Lost in Myself
11. We Are Back
12. Sixteen Years
13. More Than A Thousand Charades
Lineup:
Christoffer Borg - Vocals & Guitar, Keyboard & Bass
Felix Borg - Drums, Guitar, Percussion, Keyboard & Bass
Record Label: AOR Heaven
     


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