HIT OR MYTH?
Kevin Dobbs "dragonboots" | Perth Western Australia | 05/02/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Let me start by saying that there are a couple of things that are different about the group this time around since the last masterpiece of 'Demons Down' hit the shelves. Firstly legend Greg Giuffria is AWOL (working on a solo album I hear) and secondly the line up is otherwise the classic first album line-up with Lanny Cordola and Ken Mary back on board. So has time weathered well for all concerned. Well yes and no. What is evident is that as far as musicianship goes these guys are still top of their class. In particular the drum and bass combo of Ken Mary and Chuck Wright are jaw dropping (which one listen to the title track and instrumental 'The Power and the Myth' will confirm). On the down side Greg Giuffria's pomp and circumstance is sorely missed. James Christian's vocals have been down tuned in a more modern feel but at times leave you thinking that he sounds disinterested. Not always, just sometimes. The songs don't snare you immediately, infact I have had to persist but found a few weeks down the track I was warming a little more. I doubt that the casual listener would bother. It makes it hard to rank on a score of one to five casue I think really its around the three and a half mark.Any way onto the songs. 'Today' is great a big moody piece reminisent of 'Our Father' and sets the mood well. Unfortunately 'All Is Gone' isn't so good with a very un-inspired vocal which upsets the flow early on. Its follower 'Am I The Only One' is much better sounding very Journey-ish in style and pobably one of the more instant numbers here. An early favourite. 'Living in Silence' and 'Power and the Myth' are fabulous and make the import price I paid for this all worth while. True classic pomp rock and easily the best things on this disc. 'The Rapture' is Middle Eastern flavoured and it too is great if not a little long with a some what unnecessary bridge added right at the end. 'The Man Who I Am' is okay but nothing to write home about, a poor shadow of Boston's 'A Man I'll Never Be'. Looking at the liner notes it appears that this was written outside of the band. Disappointing that a combo that can write such monolyths of class like 'Bitter Sweet Euphoria' should be persuaded to look outside their own for songs. 'Mind Trip' has a primary writing credit to guitarist Lanny Cordola and is a virtuoso sharing his talent. Not soo strong lyrically but spell binding just the same. 'Child of Rage' explores the dark subject matter of child abuse but misses the mark for me coming across as a poor man's Heart. There is a nice bonus track song called 'Havana' that shares a writing credit with Mr Giuffria. 'Havana' is an early eighties styled rock pop song and wouldn't sound amiss on the softmore 'Giuffria' album 'Silk and Steel'.So all in all worth a visit but don't expect the lush flawlessness of previous outings and don't expect to be hooked from the very beginning to the very end."