- first up a review of Sunrise Auranaut’s Inserter album on Sea Of Tranquility. Revieuwer Michael Popke rates it with 3/5 stars.
- been a while since Melodic Rock dot com have done reviews, so happy to report that the second Cranston album got a 78% score. Andrew says: “If American melodic hard rock with a pomp touch and a heavy Winger influence is your thing, then look no further”.
- Dutch site Progwereld review Claudio Delgift’s The Essential here. They praise his talent and think the collection is a good way to introduce yourself to Claudio’s music.
- another Dutch site, Background Magazine, gives the same album a 3/5 star rating. Read the review here. They think the album is great, but do not like the vocals much.
- DPRP on the other hand, beg to differ and find lots more positives, read their thoughts here.
- and our friends from Rock Hard Slovakia rate Fred Mika’s album with 4/5 stars. Read here why writer Erik calls it a pleasant and varied melodic hard rock album.
At the moment the reviews keep coming! So for the people who are still pondering on how to spend their cash, maybe here some motivation to support our artists. As usual follow the links to read the full story (few exceptions below):
- DMME give Sky Empire a 4/5 stars for The Dark Tower. Dmitry says “British progressive metallurgists debut on a large scale – with no reason to cut it down” and is sure that while they’ve set the bar high for themselves, they will be able to rise to the challenge
- Sea Of Tranquility writer Steven Reid hands Chinawhite’s Different album 3.5/5 stars claiming “Hopefully Different finds Chinawhite fighting fit and reinvigorated, because having to wait nine years between albums isn’t ideal. That said, it has been worth the wait”
- Next up is Rock Hard (SK). Writer Erik Nadudvari shows his appreciation for the Different album from Chinawhite with a 4/5 star review, saying “we have a vibrant new album with pounding guitars and dense bass, plus even more guitars and keyboards to enhance the mood of the entire collection”
- That same Erik and Rock Hard give D’Ercole’s Made To Burn a 3.5/5 star rating. Lots of positives vibes on this one!
- Mr. H from UK site The Rocker writes about Cranston – II:The first CranstoN record saw Phil Vincent team up with Paul Sabu and I reckoned “If you’re the kind of persons who yearns for the likes of classic Aerosmith and Foreigner, albeit with a harder edged sound then this is the record for you. Now I’m not going to claim it’s up there with the classics but it is a very good album.”Which saves me the bother of writing a new review for the follow up album as exactly the same applies to this one. There are a couple of variations on the theme with some boogie licks on ‘Always On The Run’ and a more metal tinge to ‘Throwin’ Down’. There are a couple of fillers weighing down the middle of the record (say hello to ‘One Track Mind’) but given the sheer number of releases that Phil Vincent and company punt out every year there’s bound to be some slips in quality control.Strange to say, this time around, the best track is slightly anomalous as it moves away from the early eighties melodic rock into more seventies fey territory. ‘Wish I Had More Time’ is the tune in question, a lovely slice of acoustic pop which would have seen some US chart action circa 1976. Pound for pound I think this just shades the debut and is well worth a listen for fans of the genre.
- Heavy Paradise rate the latest solo album Hypocrite by Phil Vincent with an 8/10 and tells us that “Hypocrite is yet another strong sample of his really admirable career. Some killer tunes in it, great guitars, an overall tight sound with the necessary modern vibe and some Winger ‘pinches’ here and there makes “Hypocrite” a must ‘listen’ for all the fans of the modern hard rock scene (…and not only)”
- Next one for Hypocrite comes from Dangerdog. Another 4/5 rating. Craig says “Needless to say, Hypocrite finds the multi-talented Phil Vincent in fine form delivering another solid album of his melodic hard and heavy rock. Recommended.”
- One of those awful illegal download sites calls that same album “Strong, varied and interesting”
- Next one from The Rocker is for Slug Comparison:Some Canadian prog via the Netherlands as a Dutch record label brings us the latest offering from vocalist/guitarist Doug Harrison of Canadian progressive rockers Fen. Truly it’s a global village.Now I’ve never heard of Fen or Doug Harrison. He has released a previous solo album and EP and this one sees him collaborating with the likes of guitarist Sam Levin (Fen), bassist Mike Young (The Devin Townsend Band), Randall Stoll (Congenital Fixation, KD Lang), Jeff Caron (Fen), Nando Polesel (Fen) and, Dave Young (Devin Townsend). So that’s a lot of Fen and a lot of Devin Townsend. But not a lot of prog.It’s proggish in the way that King’s X were (and are) proggish. But it has just as much in common with mainstream modern rock bands and post-grunge outfits. Which doesn’t really float my boat. Steven Wilson fans will probably take to it though and as there are a helluva lot more of them than there are of me, then this could do well for him. If they get past the awful band name. He has got a great voice which really comes to the fore when he aims for the jugular with the modern day version of a power ballad. Which is why ‘Fine With It’ is utterly magnificent. It has space to breathe, an impassioned vocal and some glittering guitar. A gem.
A couple more like that and he would have had me. But this is a sound that is hugely attractive to modern ears. If they get to hear it this could be big.
- Next Jason Ritchie from Get Ready To Rock, also on Phil Vincent’s Hypocrite album. A very decent 3.5/5 stars because “not as instant as many of Phil Vincent’s solo albums, ‘Hypocrite’ certainly holds its own musically and is another enjoyable melodic hard rock album”
- Next one is for Cranston – II, this time from German Metal zine Crossfire: an 8/10 rating placing the album somewhere between Giant and Thunder with praise for the compositions!
- GloryDazeMusic rate Hypocrite with a 7/10 and applaud it’s diversity even though writer George does not think every song is of the same high calibre
- then on to the first review of the coming Stamina live CD/ DVD Live In The City Of Power. Metalwinds give it a mesmerising 90/100 rating! No shortage of superlatives in the review
- the next ultra fresh review is for the coming release of Legion; Rising. GloryDazeMusic writer George is pretty happy with the return of the band and rates the album with 8.5/10!
- then on to Spain and This is Rock and their March 2019 edition. First one is for Claudio Delgift – the Essential. Translated:I can’t think of a better way to get into the work of this exceptional Argentine guitarist than through this compilation. With such exquisite class and taste, each song is an ode to Progressive Rock with Blues and melodic influences. He’s in charge of all of the instruments except drums. He has the ability to create great expectation with his music. That can be seen in the unfolding of the songs, which instead of boring us to death with solos and technical parts, it makes us keep our attention on, asking to ourselves if the next section will be just as good as the previous one. “The World As A Whole” sums the album up perfectly. A portent of guitarist and songwriter that will be a big surprise for you.Enrique Gallardo
- Second one is for Cranston – II:Behind this pretty much warrior-like name hides a duet of prolific Hard Rock artists: Paul Sabu and Phil Vincent. Style-wise it reminds us of Sabu’s “In Dreams,” so if you liked that record, this one won’t disappoint you. The first three tracks are spectacular. “Always On The Run” is catchy and powerful. “What’s It Gonna Take” is reminiscent of Sammy Hagar’s best solo moments. And “Wrong Side Of Town” has a distinctive Celtic touch in its chorus that makes your ears prick. The rest maintains the level, though the impact isn’t as immediate. “I Wish I Had More Time” sounds a bit like Southern Rock and “One Track Mind” distils Sleaze Rock, while “Throwin’ Down” is built around a mastodon riff. They still make quality Rock.Enrique Gallardo
- And we end this time with Dutch site Lords Of METAL:
* a 72/100 for Slug Comparison
* a 60/100 for Claudio Delgift
* and a 70/100 for Cranston!
Lots of new reviews headed our way recently. So time for another roundup:
- Dutch site Rockportaal were happy with the second Cranston album and describe it as “tasty melodic hardrock in a modern jacket, inspired by older work. Fans of Eighties rock can buy this on sight”.
- the second Rockportaal review concerns Slug Comparison. Writer Edwin says that “Doug Harrison shows himself an accomplished writer with songs that both lyrically as well as musically are of high calibre. An album that deserves your attention”
- French site Metal Integral next. First Cranston – II gets 17/20 points! “an album that will energise your days”
- Another 17/20 for last years effort from Fred Mika – Withdrawal Symptoms and as they put it “it is never too late to showcase who are both gifted as passionate!”
- Mr. H. from UK site The Rocker did not like all of the D’Ercole album Made To Burn, but did say that what he likes “will be a treat for fans of eighties styled melodic rock” Find the review dated February 12 here
- on to German site Musik Reviews. First a 12/15 for Cranston! Their conclusion is “Above average good, ultra-conservative and therefore surprise-free AOR or melodic rock of two absolute professionals in this field”
- no rating for Claudio Delgift’s The Essential, but they do say it is “likely to appeal to prog rock to metal listeners and friends of virtuously played electric guitars”
- Alas they were one of the few so far not totally impressed by Slug Comparison album When You Were Living Here (10/15). Reading the comments however, I am not sure were the comparisons to Rush and prog-light are coming from?
- Then Brazil, a staggering 9.5/10 for Fred Mika coming from Roadie Metal!
- Then back the UK’s The Rocker. Lots of praise from Mr. H for Claudio Delgift in the February 19 edition of reviews. “There are complex arrangements but it’s all underpinned by a strong sense of melody that keeps you hooked. He’s certainly worthy of being better known so fingers crossed this does its job”. We hope so too!
A big thanks to all the writers!
Here some quotes and links to the reviews:
- Glory Daze Music gave Cranston an 8.5 and admit quite liking the effort
- German site Musik Reviews gave Sunrise Auranaut 10/15 and think they have a full Eastern flair and a clear space sound
- Heavy Paradise were among the first to review Slug Comparison, crediting the album with a 8/10 saying: ” I have to say that is a quite interesting ride all the way through Doug Harrison‘s music world. It includes some excellent melodies, solid arrangements, deep and with meaning lyrics and very good performances”
- Fireworks writer Paul Woodward discussed D’Ercole‘s fifth album Made To Burn and calls it “another quality release involving Vincent and it’s one I highly recommend“
- Next we have Progressive Rock Fanatics writer Stephen Conrad. His first review featured involves Claudio Delgift and his compilation The Essential. Stephen says “Claudio is a prolific musician, and these tracks serve as a good introduction into the breadth and quality of his work so far.”
- The second Conrad review is about Slug Comparison. In one word he calls it “Superb”!
- In Canada’s The Georgia Straight, Slug Comparison is named Album Of The Week by writer Mike Usinger!
- Get Ready To Rock writer Jason Ritchie says “With Cranston both Phil Vincent and Paul Sabu have made musical chemistry and I am already looking forward to hearing what these two come up with next.” 4/5 stars
- and last but certainly not least is a thrilling review for Slug Comparison by The Ringmaster. Pete says “When You Were Living Here is simply intimate splendour with melodic nobility sure to be deserving of every ounce of attention and acclaim it will inevitably garner.”
*** breaking news ***
A must for his fans, or anyone into quality prog from the sympathetic guitar wizard from Argentina! Now also on www.rockcompany.nl. For a limited time with a reduced prize! Shipping starts next week and the official release date is December 28, 2018.
Check the video with samples from several tracks:
It seems the good news keeps coming! So Rock Company is very proud to announce another new signing!
This time it concerns famed Argentinean virtuoso guitarist Claudio Delgift!
Claudio has released 7 albums since 2012 and we have partnered to release a 12 song compilation to showcase his many talents. And… this will be the first time his music becomes available on CD! Of course all the songs will be remastered.
Expect the release later this year, and for now let’s welcome Claudio with a video that lets you hear an excerpt of a rendition of the song A Promise Of Light And Wonder: