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Born in the late 60's, Chesy hails from a Welsh mining village with a long name and was pretty glad when he got the Hell out of there. He got into Rock/Metal in about 1980, thanks to a TISWAS related incident (Rainbow video for All Night Long) and thankfully has never looked back. Chesy often sang solo in the school choir, but thanks to a puberty related incident his voice is now completely bolloxed, although in his own head Paul thinks he sounds like a blend of Coverdale and Dio (R.I.P). He was brought up on the classics - Deep Purple, Rainbow, Thin Lizzy, Rush, Whitesnake and loved melodic rock and the Hair Bands of the 80's. (Nowadays, he has progressed a little and prefers a more technical and/or progressive metal - Dream Theater, Rush, Symphony X, Porcupine Tree, Pain Of Salvation, Spock's Beard. He hates Black and Death Metal (can't stand the grunting) but for some unknown reason loves the magnificent Opeth! He wont stop this blog until his beloved FM finally play the likes of the NEC as a headlining act!!!

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Revolution Saints - ST Album Review


Remember washing powder/ detergent ads the last 20-30 years? “For a newer, brighter white, choose Daz! Its much better than before” Basically pouring scorn on the previous version. Well, the same principle applies here with Revolution Saints. Cue voiceover guy…”For a new, improved Journey, choose the new Revolution Saints! Now with added SPs (that’s Steve Perry’s – plural, not singular)”, as Deen Castronovo and Arnel Pineda (Pineda appears on ‘You’re Not Alone’. Heck they even rope in Neal Schon for axe slinging duties on ‘Way To The Sun) are probably the best sounding Steve Perry’s in the business. Any discerning Journey fan that’s seen them these past few years will testify how good a singer Castronovo is.

Its shocking to anyone that knows, why the hell Castronovo has waited this long to front a band. Thankfully the Don of AOR, Serafino Perugino has the clout to make such things happen.

Basically, what I’m saying is that Revolution Saints is the album that the 21st Century version of Journey has been longing to make. So what we have are snappy, catchy choruses, more melody, AND at least one (but sometimes 2) Steve Perry’s on board. I’m also guessing that with Alessandro Del Vecchio on board, make that 3 x Perry’s! Jokes aside, I’m doing Castronovo a huge disservice, as he is his own singer – and a great one at that.

Add Jack Blades and Doug Aldrich and it’s an AOR-sters wet dream. “Nurse, more towels!” Castronovo handles most of the vocal duties, and there are a couple of co-lead vocals with Blades. Even Del Vecchio wades in his talents to “Way To The Sun’’

So, what do we have pop pickers? Well, after a few spins, there’s some pretty good stuff going on, and the Journey reference isn’t a piss-take, its pure fact! ‘Back On My Trail just screams quality AOR. Excellent vox from Castronovo, with harmonies topping off the whole event. I didn’t expect a guitarist like Aldrich to play in a band like this, but understated like Schon on many a Journey song, Doug lets his guitar do the talking, subtle one minute then coming alive and exploding for the solos. ‘Turn Back Time’ sees Night Rangers Jack Blades alternating with Castronovo on joint vocals. For ‘You’re Not Alone’, the Journey factor is increased with Arnel Pineda joining them for what is a very addictive bridge and chorus.

The Journey factor goes off the scale for ‘Way To The Sun’ as RS rope in Neal Schon for geetar duties. Its a belting song, gentle then building to a crescendo, and yet again is a beautifully crafted piece with Schon doing what only Neal Schon is capable of. ‘Dream On’ is as close to a classic Steve Perry fronted Journey as you’re likely to get this Millennium, and would fit in the Escape / Frontiers era without a doubt. The pace doesn’t let for the latter half of the album either, with the heavy ‘How To Mend A Broken Heart’, ‘Don’t Walk Away’, and ‘In The Name Of The Father’ standing out.

Del Vecchio has pieced this altogether excellently and is proving to be a talented go-to producer for Frontiers

Based on what I’ve seen as a ‘meh’ line up for this years Frontiers Festival when compared to the first, its screaming for a band like Revolution Saints to be on the bill and give the festival a quality kick up the arse. That said, Frontiers seem to have the market sewn up for quality melodic rock, with Revolution Saints adding undoubted quality and giving them a great start to 2015. Long may it and they(Frontiers), continue.

Save your pennies for the deluxe version as it includes alternate versions, and a making of DVD with 4 accompanying videos

Score – 88/100

Tracklisting –
Back On My Trail
Turn Back Time
You’re Not Alone
Locked Out Of Paradise
Way To The Sun
Dream On
Don’t Walk Away
Here Forever
Strangers To This Life
Better World
How To Mend A Broken Heart
In The Name Of The father


Revolution Saints are –
Deen Castronovo – Lead Vocals, Drums
Jack Blades – Bass, vocals on Turn Back Time and Way To The Sun
Doug Aldrich – Guitars

Featuring
Alessandro Del Vecchio – keyboards, backing vocals, vocals on Way To The Sun
Arnel Pineda – co-lead vocals on You’re Not Alone
Neal Schon – guitar solo on Way To The Sun

Produced by Alessandro Del Vecchio

Released
EU – Feb 20th
NA – Feb 24th




1 comment:

  1. Loved aor for 35 years, but this is truly by the numbers, by committee even. Riffs you've heard a thousand times before and songs too weak for recent Journey albums. Not enough thought went into the songwriting (where's Jim Peterik when you need him ?).
    There is a crisis in aor writing these days, too few writers making too many albums, one Scandi style bore after another Frontiers !

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