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Wishbone Ash - Coat of Arms Award winner

Wishbone Ash
Coat of Arms
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 26 March 2020, 5:06 AM

Today, the musical world witnesses the rebirth of many legendary Rock bands from the past, names that are important to the genre’s history, even when the readers could not know them. And WISHBONE ASH’s name could not be as notorious as LED ZEPELLIN, THE WHO, BEATLES or ROLLING STONES, but the band’s importance to Hard Rock and Heavy Metal can’t be explained by simple words. And the quartet is back for another round, with their latest release, “Coat of Arms”.

Their musical work can be described as a Hard Rock/Classic Rock with a Bluesy touch and fine harmonies. But this band is famous and notorious for the extensive use of harmony twin lead guitars, their inheritance for names as THIN LIZZY, JUDAS PRIEST and IRON MAIDEN (yes, they’re true pioneers of such thing into Hard Rock), and it’s amazing how their music pulses with life and energy, and even when brought to the present, it sounds fresh and new. It seems that “Coat of Arms” isn’t a type of ‘retired musician’s album’, but a great release, an album that shows that the band is ready for fight, and for higher flights.

The sound quality of “Coat of Arms” is really amazing. It sounds modern, clean and with everything defined, but there’s a feeling of a ‘rehearsal-like’ recording, something organic, filling the songs. It can be said that the band had chosen simple instrumental tunes for the recording sessions, and it’s the WISHBONE ASH DNA as well,

On the album, there are 11 inspired songs, all of them bringing an excellent, but the heavy and melodic “We Stand as One” (the excellent guitar duets create great melodies, and the weight is amazing), the Bluesy/Southern Rock touch on the harmonies of “Coat of Arms” and “Empty Man” (very good vocals on both songs, and it’s amazing to hear Andy singing in such way after all these years), the tender and deeper melodic insight of “Floreana”, the easy and funny approach used on the harmonies of “Too Cool for AC” (a good Country Rock touch, and a solid work from bass guitar and drums), the pure Rock ‘n’ Roll song “Back in the Day”, and the 70’s feeling that fills “When the Love is Shared” are the best ones.

Of course, “Coat of Arms” can’t be said as a classic of the band, but WISHBONE ASH made an album that is filled with their best classic features. And listen to it as loud as you can!

Musicianship: 9
Songwriting: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. We Stand as One
2. Coat of Arms
3. Empty Man
4. Floreana
5. Drive
6. It’s Only You I See
7. Too Cool for AC
8. Back in the Day
9. Deja Vu
10. When the Love is Shared
11. Personal Halloween
Andy Powell - Guitars, Vocals
Mark Abrahams - Guitars
Bob Skeat - Bass Guitar
Joe Crabtree - Drums
Record Label: SPV/Steamhammer


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