Album Reviews

Terra Nova – Come Alive

Released By : Frontiers Records

Genre: AOR

Links : http://www.myspace.com/terranova2

Lineup:

Fred Hendrix – Vocals

Ron Hendrix – Keyboard

Gesuino Derosas – Guitar

Lars Beuving – Drums

Tracklist:

1.Come Alive

2. Fighting Yourself

3. Holy Grail

4. Here Comes The Night

5. Those Eyes

6. Under Pressure

7. Do Or Die

8. Who Can You Count On

9. My Own Way

10. The Final Curtain

It’s no secret that I wasn’t fan of the previous TERRA NOVA release from 2005 ESCAPE. It wasn’t what I would call a bad album per-se, but in a year that gave birth to brilliant AOR albums from the likes of 91 SUITE, HARTMANN, PHILLIP BARDOWELL and course the mighty release from BLANC FACES, it simply couldn’t compete and was in comparison quite mediocre and by the numbers. I also felt that really wasn’t up to the same level as a couple of their earlier nineties albums that were just simply much better.

I had pretty much lost interest in this band and when I received the new album COME ALIVE I was prepared for the worst. I’m very happy to admit that my fears were unnecessary as the new album is quite possibly the best thing the band has ever done and improves on its predecessor in every way possible. The production is better, the artwork is better, the vocals are better, the hooks are better, but most importantly the songs are better, much better in fact.

The band’s sound is still full of little things that remind you of AOR giants from yesteryear like JOURNEY, SURVIVOR and REO SPEEDWAGON, but on COME ALIVE there is also a slightly heavier element that occasionally comes into play and when some of the songs get going they are pure melodic rock bliss.

Opening track COME ALIVE actually had me worried at first as it sounds quite similar to the previous album, but I didn’t have to worry for long because as soon as the bombastic backing vocals came in during the chorus of second track FIGHTING YOURSELF I knew that something was different this time around. HOLY GRAIL is where album really started to draw me in and is a great pure melodic rock gem. HERE COMES THE NIGHT is the first of a handful of great ballads and sounded to me like what you would hear if TONY HARNELL did an album with JOURNEY. THOSE EYES is another timeless ballad straight out of the STEVE PERRY playbook, and really shows the class of singer RON HENDRIX. UNDER PRESSURE truly surprised me and is a very well sung tune that starts of as a piano ballad before moving into a massive pomp sound with some queen-esque bombastic backing vocals, surely the song title is more than a mere coincidence in this instance. DO OR DIE is sort of the weak spot for me and while it is a decent enough hard rock tune, it lost my interest pretty quickly. WHO CAN YOU COUNT ON quickly brings things back in line and is a great melodic rock tune with a good hook and songs driving riffs. MY OWN WAY is a damn-near perfect melodic rock tune and quite possibly the best song that the band have written yet and serves as good measure of just how good these guys van be when they really try. The aptly-titled closing track THE FINAL CURTAIN is pure AOR brilliance and is a slow piano ballad that reminds me of JOURNEY and SURVIVOR at their best. It’s a great way to end an album and certainly left me wanting to hear more.

TERRA NOVA have done something most bands can’t, they have come back from a so-so album with one that is possibly the best of their career and an exciting baseplate for the future. I am happy to recommend COME ALIVE to any and all fans of MELODIC ROCK/AOR music and am glad to see another band in the genre doing great things. Welcome back TERRA NOVA.

Written By ZeeZee

Rating : 9/10

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