Album Reviews

First Signal – First Signal

Released by Frontiers Records

Release Date: August 27, 2010

Genre: Melodic Hard Rock


Line Up:

Harry Hess: lead and background vocals

Darren Smith: background vocals

Dennis Ward: bass, background vocals, guitars

Eric Ragno: keyboards

Michael Klein: guitars

Chris Schmidt : drums


01. This City

02. When You Believe

03. Part of Me

04. Crazy

05. Goodbye To The Old Times

06. First Signal

07. Feels Like Love

08. Into the Night

09. When November Falls

10. Yesterday Rain

11. Naked Desire

If you we’re to go back into the archives of Melodic Rock, you would probably find the recurrence name of Harem Scarem painted in many indexes. Why? Because simply put that Canadian quartet was considered to this day to be one of the most consistent bands around when it came to steady productivity having released 12 studio albums in their span together. Harry Hess was the highly potent vocalist for Harem from 91′ to their last record “Hope” in 2008 when the band called it quits. Often considered as one of the brightest vocalists in the melodic rock world, it was sad for many fans to see Hess and the band split up after such a long career together. But as bands dismantle, reunite and move on to different things, eventually they come back and keep on moving forward with different material. So Harry Hess comes back where he belongs with this new project titled “First Signal”.

Handing a helping hand is super producer Dennis Ward who doubles  up on bass as well, this project also received an edgy hype with the songwriting expertise from team of songwriters, including brothers Tom and James Martin (Khymera,Sunstorm, House of Lords), Erik Martensson (W.E.T., Eclipse), Ronny Milianowicz (Saint Deamon), Robert Sall (W.E.T., Work of Art) and Mark Baker (Signal, House of Lords)among others.

Is certainly nice to hear Hess back in the scene after a short break as he brings his unique vocal styling on the groups first extremely catchy single titled “This City”, the perfect opener for anybody trying to dig into the band. The quality of performance here is simply excellent, tracks like “Part of Me” and “Crazy” will automatically beg to played over and over again, with some emphatic rising choruses and forceful blast of exuberant exhibited by Harry. Former Harem Scarem Darren Smith (vocals, drums) lends his vocals as background for “Crazy” and it makes it even more memorable the first time I heard it, with Hess singing his lungs out.  Halfway through this highly anticipated release from one of the best vocalist around and I can honestly say that I have not heard one back track.I can’t even begin to describe “Yesterdays Rain” which sounds like something straight out of “Mood Swings”, just classic.

I have to honestly say that “First Signal” has received a constant play in my player over the past few weeks, is just a quintessential melodic record for any fans still hungry to hear some flashes of what made Harem Scarem so great. No Pete Lesperance’s guitar playing is one of a kind and something you can’t replace, but Harry Hess the better half proves he can carry more then his own with this outstanding project, and possibly more in the future to come.  Once more we keep pushing tin as the year rolls along and with this release will no doubt climb some “best of” charts when is all said and done.  Essential purchase can’t recommend enough!!!.

Written by Denys

Ratings Denys  9 /10

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