Album Reviews

Cleanbreak – Coming Home Review

Released by: Frontiers Records

Release Date: July 8th, 2022

Genre: Melodic Hard Rock/Metal

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

 

Line Up:

James Durbin – Vocals
Mike Flyntz – Guitar
Perry Richardson – Bass
Robert Sweet – Drums

 

Tracklist:

Coming Home
Before The Fall
Dying Breed
We Are The Warriors
Dream Forever
Man Of Older Soul
Still Fighting
The Pain Of Goodbye
Cleanbreak
Fin My Way
No Other Heart

 

This new project with former Quiet Riot vocalist James Durbin was something of a surprise when we took some listens. Not saying I was shocked by his vocal range, as many in the business know the kid has talent, but the overall sound here is edgier and harder than what I expected from a Frontiers release. Guess it helps to have Mike Flyntz of Riot V and the rhythm section of bassist Perry Richardson and drummer Robert Sweet, both of Stryper. Yes you have some sprinkle melodica stylings here and there, but the overall product is deafening and sharper, and to be honest; that’s not a bad thing.

It was a little odd when Durbin abruptly exited Quiet Riot a few years ago, but like it was mentioned then, business is business and it just never quite worked out. This new project is a nice change of pace for a very capable front man.

The opener “Coming Home” has a nice kicker and Durbin carries a superb melodic chorus to boot. Another tune that stands out is “Dying Breed”, one that is one of the hardest on the record, this one carries a punch straight to the gut. Super melodic and with Durbin’s vocal range in full effect, oh and by the way the drumming is majestic by Mr. Robert Sweet. Interesting to note the axe work by Riot V (Riot) shredder Mike Flyntz. If the vision for the record was to inspire and pay homage to traditional American heavy metal sound, then Flyntz is your guy. Riot is one of the truly most underrated metal bands of all time.

The rocking trip continues with “The Man of Older Soul”, which features super melodic guitar solos by Flyntz, and Durbin keeps his vocal antics in full-blown glory. The rhythm and bass here are splendid as well. With a more powerful metal-Esque sound in “Still Fighting”, the tempo is cranked to the maximum as all the guys just come together to smash this song out of the water. I gotta admit hearing James Durbin in this style is different, but honestly, the transition works very well, it almost reminds me of progresive metal hints with the power metal insanity and up-tempo. This song shreds and sounds like Dragonforce on steroids. The momentum continues in “The Pain of Goodbye”, which features some explosive melodious choruses, a vastly underrated tune on the record. Durbin again is spitting fire here. Not digging the vocal straining that Durbin throws out here in the self-titled song, I get what he was aiming for, but doesn’t seem to come across well, a bit forced. One of the minors complains about an otherwise great album.

Akin to the Iconic supergroup release, we discussed before how Frontiers puts together these lineups, makes very good albums, and then we don’t get much touring or in some cases are a one-time thing. Is a shame to a certain extent that they don’t seem to last a long time, but as previously stated; the fact we get to hear so much great music in so many different configurations and styles with so many talented musicians, is a testament to what they are trying to do. Cleanbreak is yet another example of putting a talented, young vocalist with some season Metal veterans, putting together a nice, heavier record and geared and molten in Metal influenced for sure. I think fans of Metal and good Rock will find plenty here to invest in. Hopefully, they get to make a sophomore follow-up. One thing is for certain, James Durbin is one talented individual and we look forward to hearing more material in this vein from him in the future. Knock it back!!!

 

Written by: Shadow Editor

Rating  8/10

 

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