Monday, November 25, 2013

Revolution Road-Revolution Road

Avenue Of Allies

Revolution Road, which was a dream project conceived of by producer Alessandro Del Vecchio (Edge Of Forever, Hardline, Lionville, Fergie Frederiksen) and Avenue Of Allies label owner Gregor Klee, is not so much a full-fledged band as it is a vehicle to showcase the talents of Snakes In Paradise/Company Of Snakes vocalist Stefan Berggren. That much should be made clear up front. This ten track, self-titled release was apparently first worked on during the fall and winter of 2011/2012 with (I assume) principle recording taking place this year. Besides lead vocalist Stefan Berggren and Alessandro Del Vecchio (who handles keyboards on the album as well as contributing some fantastic Hammond B3 parts!) the project was helped along by guitarists Carmine Martone & Francesco Marras, bassist Paul Logue (Eden's Curse) and drummer Francesco Jovine (U.D.O., Sapphire Eyes, Hardline, Skill In Veins). Additional personal includes former Snakes In Paradise members/guitarists Stefan Jonsson & Thomas Jaakobsson, guitarist Marcus Jidell (Royal Hunt, Dougie White, Alfonzetti) and Voodoo Circle's Alex Beyrodt (Sinner, Primal Fear) who guests on one of the album's better moments, "Ain't Gonna Give My Heart Away". If my notes are all in order that's the "who" of this album so what is the "what" then? Well, the "band" is self-described as "Classic Hard Rock with a touch of Melodic Rock and AOR". But, as I see it Revolution Road comes across as Journey meets Whitesnake with a Swedish vocalist at the helm! While I'd wager that the band's name, the album's artwork and the label that "Revolution Road" is being released on probably doesn't install a whole lot of confidence in most of our readers there is a few moments when this debut album really takes off. For example, "Losing You" sounds a little like an AOR version of Ratt while "Hold On" is simply smokin' classic rock at it's finest! It would be so easy to be cynical about a album like this (especially as far too many group's these days in the melodic rock/AOR field are as fluffy and fake as Cuddles the fabric softener bear!) there are some good ideas on "Revolution Road" such as the title, the (somewhat) gritty "Take Your Love To Town" and the album's closing number, "Balloon". Of course you will need to be able to appreciate the sounds of AOR, melodic rock, "hair-teased" hard rock and yes, this group's modern take on classic rock (which seems a bit like an oxymoron I'll admit). Also, for every good cut there are some real clunkers on "Revolution Road" like the album's first two tracks, "Wings Of Love" and "Shooting Star," respectively and the obligatory semi-ballad,  "Pretending Hearts". If you can ignore those few misfires then "Revolution Road" is actually an alright album..

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