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On disc: Toby Hitchcock

Mercury's Down - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars

Mercury's Down

Mercury's Down
(Frontiers Records - 2011)

Some might know Toby Hitchcock as the voice of Pride Of Lions, for others he might be a nobody who now tries to make it on his own. But he just used the time Pride Of Lions is taking a time off for this project.

The album kicks off with This Is The Moment, slowly guitar leads you into the track, but then they goo full force. Actually it's Erik Martensson who write the songs, played all instruments and produced the album, but Toby Hitchcock ennobles the tracks with his powerful, emotional vocals. The powerful melodic rocker has a positive vibe and shows Mr. Hitchcock strong and emotional - something which made the likes of Lou Gramm, Bobby Kimbell and Jimi Jamison big. Strong Enough offers some heavy riffs, it's a guitar driven tune with a catchy hook. A bit like 80's arena rock, but slightly heavier. After two rockers it's time for slow down a bit... For How To Stop. Organ and guitars lead you into this balladesque rocker which reminds me a bit of Foreigner with Lou Gramm... But then they add some heaviness and the tune becomes another arena rocker - with a melancholy edge. The chorus us a bit Kick-ish... A piano intro leads you into One Day I'll Stop Loving You, a fantastic power ballad. It's like the emotional roller coaster ride one goes through when realizing that a relation is over, but one is still loving. Very emotional tune, goosebump moments included. With I Should Have Said the positive vibe is back, but as it's about regretting not saying something and about longing you can hear a sad undertone here and there. The vocal line of Tear Down The Barricades partly reminds me of another tune, but I can't fathom it. Anyway, this is another powerful rocker with a positive vibe, great guitar play and excellent vocals. With the title track Mercury's Down they close the chapter. This one would make a great video as it represents the album well and is a really ear catcher!

Fans of arena rock and melodic metal should give it a try, a really strong debut of Toby Hitchcock!

9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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