CD Reviews

Dante Fox - 'Lost Man's Ground' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     October 27, 2012    
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Wonderful songs and exemplary musicianship.

Dante Fox’s wonderful 2007 release ‘Under The Seven Skies’ saw the band experiment with a new facet of their skills, ending the album with the monumental epic nine minute title track. Jump forward five years and the band have newly recorded a seven track mini-album to capitalise on their appearance at this year’s sold out Firefest. The progression of the band over the intervening years is quite readily apparent on these songs, both in terms of musicianship and writing, and it is such a pleasure to hear a self-funded British band release a product with such a class and exquisite production.

Opening track ‘Who Stole the Innocence’ riffs a little on Dio’s ‘Rainbow In The Dark’ on the vocal melodies, but quickly finds its own voice with Sue Willets showing she has lost none of her power and vocal prowess – if anything, she actually comes across as more confident and mature, tempering the shrill edge to her voice that had occasionally made me wince in the past. Tim Manford’s guitar playing is another revelation, melodically blissful and ripping solos when required; I had never realised just was a wonderful player he is. ‘Go Where Your Heart Is’ sees the Fox revisiting the sound of Heart’s glory 80s years, and while this is an oft-made comparison, the guys just do it so well, Willets power-house vocals matching the Wilson sisters blow for blow and creating yet another classic.

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Things slow down for the acoustic intro of ‘Secrets’, another superb Heart-like rocker, whilst ‘I Can’t Sleep’ is a totally re-recorded version from their 1996 debut, clearly showing the massive progression made over the prevailing sixteen years. But it is the next song, the title track, that really makes me sit up and take notice, diverting from the usually worn track to take a direction I’d surely love to see the band explore more. Acoustic guitars can’t quite disguise the Kashmir riff, but when the band kicks in we are in prime Dio era Rainbow, while Willets’ vocals bring to mind the likes of Nightwish and other such bands of the female fronted goth rock genre. Awesome!

After such an epic song, the following track ‘This World’ can’t be anything other than a little bit of an anti-climax, the lack of an immediate chorus hook being to the detriment of an otherwise perfectly enjoyable song. The album finishes with an acoustic/string version of ‘Goodbye To Yesterday’ from their ‘Under the Seven Skies’ album which serves as the perfect showcase for Sue Willets’ phenomenal voice, here ably assisted by Tony Mills on backing vocals.

‘Lost Man’s Ground’ will be on sale on the Friday at Firefest, and cannot be recommended highly enough. For a self-financed CD, this must rate as one, if not the, best sounding independent releases I’ve ever heard. Married to the wonderful songs and exemplary musicianship, and you have an album that simply demands attention (and your money!!).

Bruce Mee

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