Extreme – Six Review

Look simply put, expectations were always going to be hard to render, especially given the amount of time in between studio albums. But as Nuno has said before; given...

Released by: earMusic

Release Date: June 9th, 2023

Genre: Hard Rock

Links: https://extreme-band.com/

 

Line Up:

Gary Cherone (vocals)

Nuno Bettencourt (guitar)

Pat Badger (bass)

Kevin Figueiredo (drums) 

 

Tracklist:

1.  Rise
2. #Rebel
3. Banshee
4. Other Side Of The Rainbow
5. Small Town Beautiful
6. The Mask
7. Thicker Than Blood
8. Save Me
9. Hurricane
10. X Out
11. Beautiful Girls
12. Here’s To The Losers

 

Extreme is a puzzle that can be quite hard to figure out for casual fans of their music. Akin to their past works, when you open a box of Extreme music, you are bound to be surprised. With their seminal mega-hit “More Than Words” off Pornograffitti, the band catapulted themselves globally and in time landed new audiences far and wide. But truly their back catalog could be a mix of highs of lows. The follow-up “III Sides To Every Story” while still garnering some success, facing the weight of the world versus their predecessor, did not ultimately fulfill all expectations – at least if you listen to critics. I don’t know to me that record is still pretty solid and even to this day later albums like “Saudades de Rock” displayed a more mature Extreme sound and more rawness to Gary Cherone’s vocals. Nuno Bettencourt’s guitar playing has never been in question, the guy can flat-out shred, but there’s more to his music than senseless shredding. Yes, the funk elements we’re always fun to listen to and gave some of their songs a new twist, the harmonizations between Cherone, and Nuno were done very tastefully and are something that I wanted to try to track more of in their long-awaited Sixth studio record aptly titled the same.

I supposed after blowing up the internet with the sick guitar solo in “Rise”, you couldn’t have possibly had higher expectations for the new record. From the chunky frenetic pace of the intro to Cherone’s excellent vocal stylings to the amazing chorus, everything works here like a ticking timebomb, the song just explodes at you; a perfect trendsetter to sucking people into the new album. Think of the first 3 songs on Six as the trinity of tunes per se, “Banshee” is another riff assault on the senses, but Cherone again just belts out some of his best all-time work, the harmonies and chunky rhythm is just sick. And how about this for a little bit snippet into the recording of the new one, Nuno tells Youtube sensation Rick Beato that the late great Eddie Van Halen came to his studio trying to listen to the new material, and as Nuno explains, he was in the middle of recording the Rise solo. In the end, he didn’t get a chance to show Eddie the new music, he said it was the last time he saw him as they didn’t know he would pass on shortly after. What a haunting story, has all the feels when you listen to this song.

Now for the rest of the album… Track four comes via the slower, more commercial-sounding “Other Side of the Rainbow”. It does once more feature cool harmonies, and at your midway point, Nuno breaks it all down with another inspired guitar solo, nothing over the top, just done right. In a recent interview with Rick Beato, Nuno stated this is Gary’s record, he is right the vocals throughout the album are terrific from Cherone. You hear that plain and simply put on the wonderful feel-good ballad of “Small Town Beautiful”.

The gungy riffs in “Save Me” are interesting to me, especially considering when Extreme came to be, and that part in their early career where they were out touring with the likes of Alice in Chains very early on. I can hear the influences of that sound in this song. Enjoyed the keyboards and synths sounds of “X Out”, this is another cool tune, very modern and edgy, and works well on the record.

Look simply put, expectations were always going to be hard to render, especially given the amount of time in between studio albums. But as Nuno has said before; given the amount of time since the last studio offering, they had material to put probably another 3 other records, but they felt it wasn’t ready. I can respect musicians to wait to perfect a product to their specifications, it may not meet your expectations in comparison to whatever pre-conceived notions you had about an artist, but what it means to them may not be what it means to you, and that’s okay. Once again on the casual and untrained ear, the response will be “too many slow ballads” in comparison to the 3 Rocking openers, but if you judge the work by the sum of all its parts, you will no doubt find enough to satisfy some of your expectations.

 

Written by: Shadow Editor

Ratings: 8/10

 

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