Released by: Frontiers Records
Release Date: February 20th, 2015
Deen Castronovo – Drums/Vocals
Doug Aldrich – Guitars
Jack Blades – Bass/Vocals
Back On My Trail
Turn Back Time
You’re Not Alone (feat Arnel Pineda)
Locked Out Of Paradise
Way To The Sun (feat Neal Schon)
Don’t Walk Away
Strangers To This Life
To Mend A Broken Heart
In The Name Of The Father
When the news broke last year that Doug Aldrich was to end his tenure with Whitesnake, it shocked and saddened legions of their fans. For 12 years, the former Dio shredder stood shoulder to shoulder with David Coverdale, and was a key factor in the bands regeneration. But as they say, every cloud has a silver lining.
And now Aldrich has teamed up with former Bad English, and current Journey drummer, Deen Castronovo and AOR legend Jack Blades of Nightranger and Damn Yankees fame, to form power trio Revolution Saints.
Frontiers president, Serafino Perugino, had dreamed for years of working on a project where Castronovo would take the lead vocals. On opening track, Back On My Trail, you can fully understand his vision. This high octane platter of AOR is a vocal masterclass, particularly the tasty harmonies, and Aldrich‘s bruising axe work will leave you breathless.
Lead off single Turn Back Time, sees Blades share vocals and picks up where the opener leaves off. Blades is a fine singer, always has been, but this track should of been left solely to Castronovo. The Journey influence is heavily drenched on this album, their singer Arnel Pineda features on You’re Not Alone, a crisp and slick melodic track with a classic chorus. It doesn’t stop there, Neal Schon guests on Way To The Sun, and typically so. His contribution on his track is as close to vintage Journey as you could possibly get.
The chorus on Dream On is so nostalgic, it had me checking the back of my head for a mullet. And that’s far from a criticism, the infectious melody oozes arena rock, Castronovo nails every note to perfection. No one can deny the AOR genre mastered the power ballad, and Don’t Walk Away is stonewall proof of that. The track is traditionally put together, with a big overweight chorus and the obligatory show off guitar solo. The slow set continues on Here Forever, but unlike the last ballad, this track’s tempo gathers a muscular pace, culminating in some exalted guitar work from Doug Aldrich.
The Journey influence rears it’s head again on Stranger To This Life, and continues on the brilliant Better World. Alessandro Del Vecchio‘s swanky production and tasty ivory tickling on this tune are a particular highlight. But the stop start build up to the genius chorus will have you hooked immediately. Without doubt the strongest track on the album.
Judging by the quality of the songwriting on this album, I’m surprised the band included a cover, penultimate track, To Mend A Broken Heart. This track was originally recorded by Swedish AORsters, Eclipse. The pummeling energy of this version more than matches the original.
I’m not normally a fan of closing an album with a ballad but In The Name Of The Father is a bit special. Castronovo‘s performance is once again impeccable. If you’re not remotely moved by this track, you have issues. A powerful end to masterful record. If you are a die hard Journey fan, you’ll probably poke a few holes in it, but for dedicated fans of classic AOR, this album is a no brainer.
Written by Brian Boyle