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On disc: John West

- Long Time... No Sing - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars

Long Time... No Sing

Long Time... No Sing
(Frontiers - 2006)

Melodic metal fans will know John West mainly from his work with Royal Hunt and Feinstein, some might know him as the singer of Artension... But on his solo albums he offers hard rock - and again he worked with Lonnie Park - as he does in Johnny & Lonnie - and Savatage's Chris Caffery. The band got completed by Savatage / Metal Church drummer Jeff Plate and Kevin Hampton
The album starts with a short instrumental Let Us Pray - based on organ which give it a touch of sacred music... But then riffing leads into Fade - a sharp contrast. Heavy rock based on a cool guitar riff and on John's bluesy voice. Partly in the background they use distorted vocals / guitar which gives it a modern touch. Set Me Free is actually an old track which John wrote in the late 80's with Lonnie while they played in a band called Destiny. This one is more AOR... A bit Journey-like.... Nice, catchy tune. On Give Me A Sign its like you hear several bands combined... A sound melange of Whitesnake... Deep Purple... Pink Floyd - some guitar parts / atmospheric sounds - and ZZ Top... Interesting. Bits and pieces bring up images of these bands. Nothing really new, but the combination is. Slowing down with Highway Roppongi is based on acoustic guitars and some keyboard sound which reminds me of Deep Purple.... But I can imagine this stripped down to acoustic guitar and it would be even better... An old-fashioned rock tune with a modern sound. Heavy guitar riffing opens up Over My Head - so far the heaviest track and a bit progressive. Great work of Jeff Plate here - as on the whole album. Falling Down is a heavy rocker which has again some similarities to Whitesnake... Especially in the beginning - later this theme got picked up again -, but then there is an AOR-vibe... A track which is written to be played live - and it would rock the house. A powerful balladesque song is Slipping Away... Pure AOR, but in a modern way. This one is a radio-type of song. Like something of 3 Doors Down... Or Brian McFadden's Real To Me... But at the same time... different. Luckily they got heavy again with One More Lie. A true heavy, grooving rocker which has partly a Nu Rock-appeal. Slowing down to the end of the album and with Better Believe - a classical ballad - and Puerto Amor - an instrumental with a bit Santana... - the album fades out.
On this album John West played all lead guitars himself and he produced it, too. Its engineered by Lonnie Park. Not the first work of the dynamic duo - and I guess not their last co-operation. A modern hard rock album which shows different shades and sides of John West.
My favorites are: Falling Down, Fade, Give Me A Sign and Better Believe.

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


           2008-2010 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail:

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