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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!!!

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Refuge - 'Solitary Man' Album Review


Refuge – Solitary Man

Peavy Wagner, Manni Schmidt & Christos Efthimiadis released five critically acclaimed albums as one of the most successful line-ups of the German metal band RAGE and have now reunited under the name REFUGE to carry on the sonic assault they started back in ’87. What started out as a “fun thing” in 2014 has turned into a real band again! Refuge’s debut album, ‘Solitary Men’ will see the light of day in summer 2018. It will be the first album of original material from this classic Rage line-up in 25 years and will surely satisfy fans who remember those now legendary albums!

My initial thoughts when this album starts is how far stuck in the late 80’s these guys are. There’s a really nice slow bit towards the end of ‘Summer’s Winter’ but that’s all that pulls me in so far.
‘The Man In The Ivory Tower’s’ opening riff gives me some hope but vocally, for me, something isn’t right, it doesn’t gel with the music. ‘Bleeding From Inside’ kicks in and that’s exactly how I feel listening to it. The opening riff is great but as soon as the lyrics kick in the song is destroyed. These guys are typical mid 80’s Megadeth / Iron Maiden style heavy rock and if you’re from that era it may be right up your street. I’m from that era and it isn’t, but I’ll continue to listen and give my fair opinion.

‘From The Ashes’ offers hope with it’s Dave Mustaine inspired opening which is great, but again doesn’t live up to expectations. ‘Living On The Edge Of Time’ is the best offering so far, with it’s ‘South of Heaven’ style intro. It is a very Helloween-style song.

As the album progresses its fair to say that fans of RAGE will love this. ‘We Owe A Life To A Death’ confirms what I’ve been thinking. I’m hearing, Maiden, Sacred Reich, Holy Terror. Nothing wrong with that, however, most 80’s bands have been able to drag themselves and their music into our current era. These guys haven’t and it’s a shame.

‘Let Me Go’ gives us a more rock’n’roll feel to the album but lyrically it just doesn’t work.
Overall this album will be a great addition for RAGE fans, but I can’t see it attracting any new fans. There just isn’t any song that stands out and shouts to a new audience. If you love RAGE buy it, if you’ve never heard RAGE………………Don’t.

Score 4/10

Reviewed by Sty

Track Listing

1 - Summer's Winter
2 - The Man In The Ivory Tower
3 - Bleeding From Inside
4 - From The Ashes
5 - Living On The Edge Of Time
6 - We Owe A Life To Death
7 - Mind Over Matter
8 - Let Me Go
9 - Hell Freeze Over
10 - Waterfalls
11 - Another Kind Of Madness (Bonus Track)

Line-Up

Peavy Wagner –bass & vocals
Manni Schmidt - guitars
Christos Efthimiadis - drums

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