This is the new Inglorious, and long may they reign.
Released by: Frontiers Music S.R.L.
Release Date: 25th January 2019
Genre: Hard Rock
Nathan James – Lead Vocals
Andreas Z Eriksson – Lead Guitar/Vocals
Andrew Lowe – Rhythm Guitar/Vocals
Colin Parkinson – Bass Guitar/Acoustic Guitar/Vocals
Phil Beaver – Drums/Percussion/Vocals
Tony Draper – Hammond/Piano
Nathan James – Lead Vocals
Phil Beaver – Drums/Percussion/Vocals
Danny Dela Cruz – Lead Guitar/Vocals
Dan Stevens – Rhythm Guitar/Vocals
Vinnie Colla– Bass Guitar/Vocals
1. Where Are You Now?
2. Freak Show
3. Never Alone
7. Time To Go
8. I Don’t Know
9. While She Sleeps
10. Ride To Nowhere
11. Glory Days
Inglorious were always a band who wore their influences on their sleeve, but with Ride To Nowhere, the band is trying to move beyond the established 70s-esque sound and evolve into something that is truly their own. Once hailed as the future of British rock, Inglorious has gone from strength to strength over their career, since storming the music scene in 2014. After the critical success of 2017’s release of II, there were a lot of expectations on the band to produce a cracking third album. However, shortly after the new album was announced, it was also revealed that the band was losing its core musicians with only lead singer Nathan James and drummer Phil Beaver staying on. Turn-over in rock bands is nothing new, and when the singer and primary creative force of the band is kept in place, it should be business as usual, but in our crazy world of social media driven fandom, it became a circus, nearly overshadowing what should have been a happy time for the band.
Thankfully that is all now behind them and 2019 looks like it will be a good year for the reinvigorated band, with Nathan adding, “I think going forward what I am excited about is that everyone is a really strong singer – we didn’t have that in our previous line-up, so the backing vocals are going to sound great! These guys are hungry, they feel like they’ve got something to prove to our fans and to doubters, so I think it’s going to be a very electrifying tour and I think people are going to really enjoy the energy that these new hungry guys bring to this music.” It is clear that new band members Danny Dela Cruz (lead guitar), Vinnie Colla (bass), and Dan Stevens (rhythm guitar), are keen to prove their mettle, and when the band goes on tour at the end of January, we will get our first proper glimpse of the future of Inglorious.
Opening track “Where Are You Now?” is the first introduction to the new controlled, and refined vocals that Nathan will display throughout the album. It hooks you in subtly and sets the stage for the songs that come. Of all the tracks on the album, this is the closest to the sound that band are known for, with Nathan explaining, “it sounds like us, but it also has a tease of a new kinda sound with a big chorus and catchy riffs. It was the perfect first single for us.”
The tracks the follow slowly tune themselves into the new sound that the band are establishing with Ride to Nowhere, with the upbeat “Freak Show”, the riffy blues number “Never Alone”, the soaring “Tomorrow”, and finally the swaggering “Queen” before hitting us with “Liar”, which is a dark and broody song which slithers through your consciousness as the track unfolds. It is from this point that the album truly comes into its own. “Time to Go” has an underlying funk groove, which makes it an infectious track from the start. “I Don’t Know” has a real Deep Purple Stormbringer vibe to it, and Nathan’s vocals are smouldering and soulful as he powers through the notes.
“While She Sleeps” is a prog infused belter that builds into a powerhouse of a track. Title track “Ride to Nowhere” adds Nathan, “is totally different than anything we’ve done before, and it will show people we are not just blues rockers that love the 70s.” A heavier and grungier sound to be sure, the opening stomp-beat in “Ride to Nowhere” pushes the song along like a march towards the horizons of Inglorious’ new sound. When the song opens up, that is when the magic happens. This is the new Inglorious, and long may they reign.
Closing track “Glory Days” was an emotional track for Nathan, with the stripped back acoustic guitar setting the mood against Nathan’s powerful vocals. Discussing the song, Nathan explained, “Yeah I mean it was a tough one for me, because that relationship, I felt like I’d found my soulmate but as time went on I realised it wasn’t and then I tried to convince myself to get back with that person because I just wasn’t ready to leave it, I wasn’t ready to sign off from that relationship. Then the boys started writing the music, we were all in my old house, we did all the writing at my house. We were all in one room and we started these chords and the first thing that came was I sung the chorus and I thought oh God this has just happened and it’s really fresh and I actually said to the boys “You’re not going to hear this ‘til it’s done” because I felt really, really protective of the lyrics. It was really hard to write down the events and writing it down in the studio I actually got so emotional I was crying. By the third take of the song I was so exhausted from singing it I broke down and I think on the album you can actually hear that in the outro of the song, my voice is really on the edge of that, right on the brink of breaking and it was a real moment for me as a singer because I rarely let myself go that much, I really concentrate on my notes making sure I sound good.” This outpouring of emotion makes this one of the standout tracks of the album, and brings it to a stunning close.
Returning to work with the band again, the unmistakable fingerprints of Kevin “Caveman” Shirly can be heard throughout the plush production of the album. Nathan explained, “Kevin mixed this one as well and we produced it as a band. This one’s got a little more production on it, there’s a few more backing vocals on there, it’s got a slightly tighter sounding feel to it I think, it’s got more percussion on it, it’s got more piano and keys and stuff like that so it’s a bit more produced and in terms of my vocal, I’ve really like layered up the vocals on some of the songs to give it a different kind of sound to the previous two albums,” adding, he “really understands how we want it to sound and we are always super happy with the results he gets.’’ Shirly himself couldn’t be happier, stating, “this band are actually glorious! Amazing singer, amazing band. The best British band I’ve seen since…I could say the Darkness, but I really mean Led Zeppelin,” adding that, “Ride to Nowhere shows once again the band’s sheer class from a band growing in maturity, ability and craft.” Echoing Nathan, Andreas Eriksson added, “There’s a lot of variety on this album, more so than the previous ones and that I really like. Sonically I think it sounds more fresh, contemporary in a sense and that goes for a bunch of songs on the album as well. Just the singles alone are different than how we’ve sounded in the past, but still have the Inglorious feel and vibe! Lastly I also think that musically it’s better than the previous albums, everyone plays very tasteful, soulful and collectively I feel that it’s perfect!”
All of these elements combined to make Ride to Nowhere an intriguing album. It is more restrained, and defined than the band’s previous albums, however while it starts off strong, it’s the second half of the album that is truly where it shines. There is a clear transition from a more refined interpretation of their classic sound with “Where Are You Now?” before changing gears and evolving into something spectacular from “Liar” onwards. It is a unique window into how Nathan James sees the band evolving, and his determination to ensure Inglorious has its own unique sound that isn’t so readily compared to Whitesnake and Deep Purple. Still for the man who can often conjure the voice of Glen Hughes better than the man himself, the comparisons will likely never fully fade away, and there is nothing wrong with that. Ride to Nowhere is a solid album that may surprise many ardent fans, and will no doubt expand the bands following. If you’re a fan of soulful, blues-rock, with a side of grit and introspection, this is the album for you.
Following their show stealing mainstage performance at Download festival 2018, Inglorious have also announced a full UK tour across January and February 2019. The band will be bringing their stunning live performance to venues across the UK to support the release of “Ride To Nowhere”. Full dates are as follows:
Written by: Erik De’Viking
My Global Mind – Reviewer / Music Journalist
Erik De’Viking is a freelance music journalist based in the South of England. His musical interests include blues, rock, and metal in all its forms, and he is constantly on the lookout for new bands and genres to discover and later preach about to the masses.
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