A "must have" for fans of '80s Guitar Rock
Steven M. Rosenfeld | Los Angeles, CA | 07/16/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Gary Moore is an Irish guitarist of tremendous skill. He also writes & sings. Some may know him from the time he spent with Thin Lizzy. This collection features a number of Moore's cautionary tales about war, clearly based on his experiences in Ireland ("After the War", "Running from the Storm"), a lovely instrumental cover version of "The Messiah will Come", an attack on the slew of Led Zeppelin wanna-be's that sprung up at the time ("Led Clones" featuring Ozzy Ozbourne on vocals!) a couple of laughable up-tempo rockers designed to get a little MTV play ("Ready for Love") and a powerful number called "Blood of Emeralds". Of course, the whole point here is Moore's muscular guitar style. If you recall the film "Crossroads" you remember Ralph Machio's character has to play against the deveil's guitarist (Steve Vai) to save his friends soul. Now, no disrespect to Machio, but I'd take Moore in a second. There is NO ONE that unleashes such huge, sweeping, and emotionally charged guitar solos like Moore. His fretwork is impeccable, and he displays all of the "tricks" of the day such as the Van Halen style tapping. But, unlike many players, he always stays within the context of the melody and theme of the song."
Closing out the 80's . . .
trebe | 05/21/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In the early 80's, versatile guitarist Garry Moore began cranking out a series hard rocking albums that established the Irishman as a respected guitar hero in the genre. He was also something of a crusader, making nuclear war the subject of several songs during the Reagan years. Perhaps Moore's best all around album in the 80's was Wild Frontier, released in 1987. The songs were full of emotion, the production excellent, and the musicianship outstanding, as Moore's fiery guitar playing was tempered with a more bluesy vibe, backed by keyboards. With Moore's singing under control and conveying more feeling, Wild Frontier was one of the best melodic hard rock albums of the late 80's.
Moore's follow up, After the War, released in 1989, is similar to Wild Frontier from a production and sound standpoint. Although there are some great tracks, overall the material is a mixed musical bag, lacking the cohesiveness of Wild Frontier. This time around, Moore seems to be interested in lightening things up a bit.
Speak For Yourself, is an incredible power rocker, with some incendiary guitar work that ranks among Moore's very best. Running From the Storm is melodic, and has the impact of a gale force wind, with more great lead work. The title track, After the War, is a catchy tune with great vocals with a familiar antiwar message. Incorporating traditional Celtic melodies is something that both Moore and Thin Lizzy had done before, and it works quite well on the dark and brooding, Blood and Emeralds. Originally a bonus track, Moore`s impressive cover of blues master Roy Buchanan's instrumental, Messiah Will Come Again, adds more dark favors to the mix.
The ultra syrupy Livin' on Dreams, is pure pop rock, and is kind of new territory for the usually feisty Irishman. Moore's aggressive, raw style of singing featured on This Thing Called Love is kind of a throwback to his early 80's style. A change of pace number that does kind of work, is the bouncy Ready for Love, which after another over the top guitar solo, brings in some soulful female background vocals. Led Clones, features Ozzy Osbourne singing on a Kashmir influenced track, about bands borrowing from Led Zeppelin.
The musicians are hard rock heavyweights. Bassist Bob Daisley (Ozzy Osbourne/Rainbow/Uriah Heep), and keyboard player Neil Carter (UFO), return after having also played on Wild Frontier. Also contributing are Don Airey (Rainbow/MSG/Whitesnake) on keyboards, and Cozy Powell (MSG/Jeff Beck/Black Sabbath/Rainbow) and Simon Phillips (Toto/MSG/Judas Priest) on drums.
Gary Moore seems to be exploring some new musical directions on After the War, the results being a somewhat uneven album. His creative lead work is at times completely off the charts, but a great solo doesn't always make for a great song. Perhaps Moore had grown weary of the heavy metal genre, as he would turn to the blues next. After this would come Still Got the Blues, the first in a long string of blues albums the guitarist would record in the 90's and beyond.
Gary Moore: After the War
Louis R. Almond | 11/02/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Gary Moore may be the most versatile, underacknowledged and underappreciated guitarist since the '60's Roak Era began. He is a master rock guitarist from the '70's and '80's who has rekindled his phenomenal blues chops since the '90's, often duetting with the Old School Blues Masters Albert King, Albert Collins and BB King, NOT giving up a note of virtuosity to these revered guitar heroes. His '80's material (of which After the War is merely one source) is only outdone by his subsequent blues pursuits and collaberations. I bought this CD as part of a catalogue remastering series and await the introduction of each new addition to the series. I can not say enough about this guy's playing despite some rather cheesey videos, representative of the '80's hair metal period, that are beneath his true sonic abilities. GIVE HIM A TRY!"