Album Reviews

Sweet/Lynch – Only To Rise Review

sweetlynch_cover

Released by: Frontiers Records

Release Date: January 27th, 2015

Genre: Hard Rock

Links: https://www.facebook.com/SweetLynch

 

Line Up:

Michael Sweet – Lead Vocals
George Lynch – Guitars
James Lomenzo – Bass
Brian Tichy – Drums

 

Tracklist:

01. The Wish
02. Dying Rose
03. Love Stays
04. Time Will Tell
05. Rescue Me
06. Me Without You
07. Recover
08. Divine
09. September
10. Strength In Numbers
11. Hero-Zero
12. Only To Rise

 

Two of the kingpins of the 80’s rock genre, Michael Sweet and George Lynch, both enjoyed varied degrees of success with Stryper and Dokken respectively. With Sweets’ main day job with christian rockers Stryper, and Lynchs’ ventures with Lynch Mob both being put on the back burner, these two exquisite talents have joined forces to record Only To Rise. Also joining the party are drummer Brian Tichy (Whitesnake, Foreigner) and bassist James Lomenzo (White Lion, Megadeth).

No surprises on opener The Wish, with a beautiful, haunting melody throughout, it is reminiscent of the guys exploits in the 80’s. The sleazy seductive thump of Like a Dying Rose, could be classed as a blues rock number. Lynchs‘ majestic fretwork is both heartfelt but nasty at the same time. That vibe continues on the brilliant Love Stays, without doubt the finest rock ballad I’ve heard in years. Vocally and lyrically it’s a joy. But its fist raising chorus is truly memorable.

Sweets’ flawless pipes shine on the futuristic sounding Time Will Tell, Lynchs’ Blackmore-esque solo a particular highlight. Tichy‘s pummeling introduces the Zep like Rescue Me. By no means a standout track, but it contains an unquenchable rhythm that keeps the track breathing. The moody tones of ballad Me Without You, slowly gravitate to a hauntingly powerful finish. Though not as gripping as Love Stays, it still maintains a distinctive quality.

It’s pedal to the metal time with the bruising Recover, the well traveled rhythm section of Tichy and Lomenzo inject serious venom into this unstoppable rocker. It’s blatantly obvious that Sweet and Lynch had no intention of making a bog standard rock album. The psychedelic ring of Divine and the new age metal tonality of September, give this album an exuberant diversity.

Mainly dominated by keyboards, Strength in Numbers takes you back to a Ronnie James Dio fronted Rainbow. A wonderfully addictive chorus takes you in and doesn’t let go. Hands down the best track on the album. If it wasn’t for the underwhelming chorus, Hero-Zero would be an unblemished piece of work. The sordid groove virtually grins with arrogant menace. This song is a reminder of the versatility of the writing on this album.

Ending on a pulsating note with title track Only to Rise, this song bears all the hallmarks of a relentless jam. Lynchs’ no frills riff work and Tichys’ animalistic skin battering are monstrous. It would be a crying shame if this project was a one off. Sweet and Lynch clearly have a smokin’ hot compatibility. Their energy and enthusiasm are all over this wonderful album.

 

Written by Brian Boyle

Ratings    Brian    8/10

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