RAGE OF ANGELS - Dreamworld (2013)
Coming up is the debut album from a new SuperGroup (this time this tag is truly deserved) called RAGE OF ANGELS, scheduled for release on 22 February 2013 via Escape Records.
While the core members of the band are relatively well known - take the great Martin Kronlund as figurehead - it is the lineup of stellar guest vocalists and guitar players that push the CD entitled "Dreamworld" into the heavens, or into a 'dreamy musical world' so to speak.
Rage Of Angels is the brainchild of Ged Rylands, the original keyboard player for UK Melodic Hard Rockers Ten. Ged has also worked with Hugo, Contagious, Danny Danzi, and is now a touring member of Tyketto.
During all this years on the road and a long break for parenthood, Ged continued to write music and lyrics, and "Dreamworld" is the result. This album not only features awesome singers, but also a broad spectrum of guitar talent from across the metal and hard rock world.
It's basically an A-list of melodic hard rock and metal heavyweights including - to name a few - Neil Fraser, Harry Hess, Robert Hart, Danny Vaughn, Ralf Scheepers, Tommy Denander, Ralph Santolla, Vinny Burns...
Musically, "Dreamworld" does not fit a single genre, going from progressive hard to butt-kicking melodic rockers. If anything characterizes this debut it's the guitar work. Not discounting the contributions of other members, this is definitely a guitar driven album.
Title track "Dreamworld" opens the CD with a bit of electronic ephemera – a little girl’s voice, somewhat computerized (think the Red Queen from the Resident Evil movies), but becomes a sweeping modern rock anthem with big guitar hooks and a great vocal line courtesy of the incredible Matti Alfonzetti.
The band shifts to soaring Melodic Rock next, making the most of the easily recognizable voice of Harem Scarem’s Harry Hess. "See You Walking By" is a true toe-tapper – maybe even a sing-along track, and Hess is allowed to perform to his strengths, as is Neil Fraser of Ten on the guitar solo.
Robert Hart (Bad Company) fronts the gritty "Through It All" where the bass and drums push this one over the top, and Fraser unleashes some blistering licks.
Tyketto’s Danny Vaughn lends his smooth voice to the upbeat melodic hard rocker "Over and Over" plenty of Ryland’s keyboards and a bouncy drum line. Terrific tune.
"Prelude for the Gods" is a short symphonic keyboard piece that leads nicely into the second half of the album, which begins with Primal Fear’s Ralf Scheepers rocking on "Falling". He slips neatly into the bass and drum driven track and uses all of his impressive vocal range to make the track one of the real stand outs.
Relatively unknown singer David Reed Watson gives an amazingly strong and emotional vocal performance on the proggy power ballad "The Beating Of Your Heart". It is perhaps the one time on the album where the vocals truly outshine the balance of the band (with the exception of Tommy Denander’s heartfelt guitar solo), and marks Watson as name to watch.
Fraser and Danny Vaughn again step to the front in the catchy, old-school bluesy hard rocker "Spinnin’ Wheel". Hot keyboard fills and rapid fire guitars are the rule in this nearly eight-minute extravaganza.
"Requiem For The Forgotten Soldier" is a mostly instrumental track that features guitar contributions from Vinny Burns (Ten, Asia, Ultravox), Ralph Santolla (Deicide, Obituary, Iced Earth), Martin Kronlund (on his only 'real solo in the entire album), and Xander Demos. Killer track.
"We Live, We Breathe, We Die" ends the disc in a calmer way and superb style. It isn't strictly a ballad, as this bluesy midtempo features a powerful vocal performance by Robert Hart (the underrated Bad Co. tremendous singer), a sharp guitar work by Martin Kronlud and a stunning, marvelous Vinny Burns solo.
In short, "Dreamworld" is a killer album all over.
The band handles the tone and tempo changes without any issue, sounding tough, tight, cohesive - terrific indeed. The songs are all well-crafted and have solid flows to them, each one a big, juicy track seemingly molded to the vocalist and guitarists.
Rylands contributes his fine keyboard and guitar skills, and he works well together with fellow guitarist Martin Kronlund and the rhythm section of drummer Pera Johanssen and bassist Michael Carlsson. The guest musicians each contribute something unique to the album, making it a true feast for the ears.
Rylands and Kronlund did a commendable job with the mix and production as well, allowing the sound to vary to suit their guest singers. The vocals are crisp and clear while all of the instruments are perfectly balanced, not an easy task when the number of participating performers is considered.
Rage Of Angels' "Dreamworld" is simply a superlative recording, already a contender for 'album of the year'.
1. Dreamworld Vocals by Matti Alfonzetti, Lead guitar by Neil Fraser (Ten)
2. See You Walking By Vocals by Harry Hess (Harem Scarem), Lead guitar by Neil Fraser
3. Through It All Vocals by Robert Hart (Bad Company), Lead guitar by Neil Fraser
4. Over and Over Vocals by Danny Vaughn (Tyketto), Lead guitar by Neil Fraser
5. Prelude for the Gods [instrumental]
6. Falling Vocals by Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear), Lead guitar by Neil Fraser
7. The Beating of Your Heart Vocals by David Reed Watson, lead guitar by Tommy Denander
8. Spinnin' Wheel Vocals by Danny Vaughn, lead guitar by Neil Fraser
9. Requiem for the Forgotten Soldier Lead guitars by Ralph Santolla, Vinny Burns (Ten, Asia), Martin Kronlud & Xander Demos
10. We Live, We Breathe, We Die Vocals by Robert Hart, lead guitar by Vinny Burns
Ged Rylands - Guitars, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Martin Kronlud - Guitars
Michael Carlsson - Bass
Pera Johanssen - Drums NUEVOS ENLACES MAS ABAJO