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Tony Mitchell - Church of a Restless Soul Award winner

Tony Mitchell
Church of a Restless Soul
by Emily Schneider at 01 September 2020, 5:05 PM

English musician Tony Mitchell has been in the music business since 1980. He's most known for his Rock band KISS OF THE GYPSY from the 1990s and his countless collaborative efforts with fellow great musicians such as ALICE COOPER, ALAN PARSONS, and RICK WAKEMAN (just to name a few) With his diverse history with such a wide variety of music subgenres, it's no wonder he finds himself wanting to make albums of his own with no boundaries on what kinds of music he needs to make. His second solo album “Church of a Restless Soul” is certainly an example of his various endeavors impacting his play and singing style. It makes for one interesting album when a multi-talented singer/musician/songwriter with great composing skills takes full reign on a record.

The album begins with the title track “Church of a Restless Soul”. There's a dramatic pipe organ throughout and a choir to accompany the vocals; it's a massive track, especially as an opening song.  “In & Out of Love” picks up the pace and brings on some hard rock elements in the riffs and the grittier vocal style. The solos in this one are melodic and enjoyable too. “The Mighty Fall” is a duet with TYKETTO vocalist Danny Vaughn. Their voices mesh really nicely together in this uplifting track. The main melody in this song is vibrant and hopeful and the keywork in this one is really comforting to listen to in accompaniment with the reassuring lyrical content.

“I Believe in Angels” is an emotional ballad with some BON JOVI flair. The guitar work is like a beacon of light from the heavens, shining most brightly during the solos. “Killing Me to Love You” has so much drama! I really liked the synthwork and the heavy, angsty riffs. The solo was great too with a dark and heavier edge than the previous songs so far. When looking at the list of musical influences listed on Tony's Facebook page before beginning my listenthrough, I thought WITHIN TEMPTATION seemed a bit outlandish compared to the bands surrounding… Yet, that influence managed to sneak its way into this song and it worked so beautifully. “Never Wanted Love” reels us right back to the 80s soaked Rock vibes. I really like how this song creates a character, a woman who is independent to a fault, to life. The lyrics describe her, but the music truly tells her story. The pacing is like her trudging through life, the guitar melody is her emotions as the song goes along. It's easy to get lost within this song for certain and you feel for the woman by the end.

“One Good Reason” and “Shattered Dreams” once again brings on the grand orchestral keywork and massive guitar playing. The darker heavier stuff really seems to be Tony's strong suit because these two were both headbang-worthy and greatly executed! “Sacrifice” is a prime cut power ballad, this one reminded me of SKID ROW. I definitely wanted to pull out a lighter, ignite its flame and sway while listening to this one. “Evil Woman” is a catchy Hard Rock number with yet another killer guitar solo in the heart of the song. “Heaven is Falling” closes the album with a synth lined guitar heavy track. It brings you back to Earth after exploring a part of Tony's universe, or I suppose a realm of heaven if we're going off of the song title.

Overall, this album had so much more to it than I could have imagined. I suppose the best descriptor would be Melodic Hard Rock, but there are so many bits and pieces from many audible places that it feels like much more than that. Tony Mitchell is well-seasoned in the music world and he shows his wide range of skills and play styles throughout this album. While the 80s AOR feel is the main intention, there are also plenty of influences from Melodic Metal, Symphonic Metal, Hair Metal, and even a few Progressive Rock morsels blended together enough that it feels cohesive. I also have to mention that Tony is one HELL of a guitarist. He knows how to not only play with skill, but more importantly, with feeling. His guitar work was a perfect companion to his emotional and wide ranged vocal talents. “Church of a Restless Soul” is essentially his way of showing the world he can do and play anything he wants and have you hanging on every note by the end of each track. Impressive work!

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

4 Star Rating

1. Church Of A Restless Soul
2. Living On The Run
3. In & Out Of Love
4. The Mighty Fall
5. Electric
6. I Believe In Angels
7. Killing Me To Love You
8. Never Wanted Love
9. One Good Reason
10. Sacrifice
11. Shattered Dreams
12. Evil Woman
13. Heaven Is Falling
Tony Mitchell -Lead Vocals/Guitar
Record Label: AOR Heaven


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