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Terry Brock - 'Diamond Blue' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/79/d4/38/668_terrybrockdiamondblue_1285791241.jpg Hot

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Fabulous songs laden with style and class.

Vocalist Terry Brock is certainly a busy boy at the moment. Not only is he the new lead singer for melodic rock royalty Giant, replacing Dann Huff and debuting on the release of their recent ‘Promised Land’ album, he’s readying himself for a reunion of the legendary Strangeways (with a new album to follow), and now returns with a second solo album – ‘Diamond Blue’. Brock’s previous offering ‘Back To Eden’ was released through Frontiers in 2001 and was well received by fans and press alike, so Diamond Blue is a much anticipated follow up. Having collaborated many times with guitarist Mike Slamer (whose previous bands include City Boy/Steelhouse Lane/Slamer and Seventh Key), it’s no surprise then that he and Terry have more or less written, recorded and produced this album themselves, with the only additional musician being drummer Andy Bigan, and only other writing credit on ‘Jessie’s Gone’ which is co-written by Strangeways founder member Ian Stewart – is this a taster for what we can expect on the new Strangeways album? Let’s hope so!

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The title track is punchy, guitar heavy with plenty of hooks and a very catchy chorus and sets the tone for the rest of the album. From the aggressive ‘No More Mr Nice Guy’ to the soulful ‘Soldier Falls’ (which reminded me of the classic ‘Coming Home’ from ‘Back to Eden’), this album has every emotion you can think of, albeit stemming from similar subject matter, but then most AOR is about love, isn’t it? With songs as well written as these you can’t fail to be impressed and inspired. A classic slice of AOR, ‘Diamond Blue’ has all the elements you would expect from Terry – fabulous songs laden with style and class, great production – and a few modern surprises to boot. I’m sure that this will quickly become a firm favourite, it certainly has with me.

Sue Ashcroft

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Terry Brock - Diamond Blue

(Frontiers Records)

Review By Woody

Diamond Blue is the long awaited second album for popular Melodic Rock singer Terry Brock who sprang to people’s attentions fronting cult British AOR rockers Strangeways in the late 80’s. It has indeed been a long wait for this album with Terry’s last solo effort “Back To Eden” emerging nine years ago but this time he’s teamed up with buddy Mike Slamer! Slamer is probably one of the most well respected and loved British melodic rock guitarists of all time starting his career with Brum band City Boy! It’s been a busy year for Brock after been unveiled as the new singer with Giant, this solo album and of course the new album with reformed British AOR’sters Strangeways.

Another stunning melodic rock album from the Frontiers records stable, this is a fantastic slice of feel good rock. I think the average melodic rock fan is going to love this and welcome this album with open arms. I suppose the biggest negative non genre fans could pose is that it’s a touch formulaic, it has obviously been crafted to appeal to a certain audience and Slamer’s guitar work does at time seem to be reigned in a little. Having said that it ticks all the right box’s with me, strong melodies, big catchy guitar riffs, powerful and emotive vocals and relatable lyrics. Whilst Brock & Slamer haven’t re-invented the wheel it’s still a collection of songs that stand out amongst the crowd and will definitely appease genre fans. Brock’s vocals are fantastic throughout showing his versatility letting rip on some songs and been all smooth the next. His voice has a warmth to it that make’s him one of my favourite singers and it’s obviously led to him been an exceeding popular vocalist within the scene. Mike Slamer creates some great musical moments and his trademark style is evident, reigned in or not, it’s still damn good, this guy really knows how to write a melodic rock guitar riff!

“Diamond Blue” really puts me in mind of Slamer’s old band (and much loved by me!) Steelhouse Lane. A big ass riff grabs your attention and builds up to a really smooth chorus. This rocker combines powerful guitar work and soaring melodies to deliver a real in your face opener to the album. “It’s You” has feel good factor 10 written all over it! The first time I listened to the song I found myself smirking to myself (yes I agree & I am seeking help!) and the song has a really infectious feel good vibe to it, seriously if I’m the only one this song affects in this way I’m going to start to worry! A Catchy guitar riff coupled with an infectious catchy sing along chorus make it a real winner “cause baby It’s You”! “Jessie’s Gone” is a co-write with Brock’s Strangeways band mate Ian Stewart. I love the guitar work on this tune, Brocks vocals are smooth and emotive and it has a fantastic chorus.

“No More Mr Nice Guy” is a strong guitar driven rocker with Slamer laying down some of his trademark riffs. A full force rocker which Brock roars on! “The Rain” is an emotionally charged ballad, it really gripped me and show’s what a great vocalist Brock is - A real standout for me! “Broken” is a bit odd in that it’s not in character with the rest of the album. The darkest and moodiest song on the album both musically and lyrically and it’s a killer song with emotive lyrics which stick with me and a powerful, melodic in your face chorus.

“Face In The Crowd” has a huge chorus with a great guitar lick courtesy of Slamer! “Why” is a mid-tempo rocker with a bluesy vibe. It adds some great musical variation to the album, a strong and powerful song which Brock provides an equally strong and powerful vocal performance on! “Too Young” contains some awesome hook ridden guitar riffs from Slamer causing this driving rocker to imbed itself in your head. A hugely melodic and smooth song which will also help make this a rock dance floor filler!

“A Soldier Falls” is a deep, emotion driven ballad with emotive vocals from Brock. “Face The Night” is another emotive ballad. This piano led song has some killer melodies and makes it a real winner for me. I really liked the lyrics on this one too, a quiet but powerful way to close the album.

A great collection of summery Melodic Rock, with big hooks and a real feel good factor - Just like they used to make! This is bound to be a winner with genre fans as it’s an album full of in your face big riff rockers and deep emotive ballads, with strong guitar riffs and memorable melodies. It’s also an album that grants instant gratification, so melodic rockers everywhere prepare to fill your pants on first listen! Hopefully Mr Brock won’t leave it another nine years for another solo album…..and fingers crossed he’ll ignore the European boo boys and keep wearing the cowboy hat! ROCK ON!

Track Listing: Diamond Blue / It’s You / Jessie’s Gone / No More Mr Nice Guy / The Rain / Broken / Face in The Crowd / Why / Too Young / Soldier Falls / Face The Night

Album Rating: 4/5

Woody's Essential Track: Broken
Overall rating 
 
4.0
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Reviewed by Woody September 30, 2010
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (31)

Terry Brock - "Diamond Blue"

Terry Brock - Diamond Blue

(Frontiers Records)

Review By Woody

Diamond Blue is the long awaited second album for popular Melodic Rock singer Terry Brock who sprang to people’s attentions fronting cult British AOR rockers Strangeways in the late 80’s. It has indeed been a long wait for this album with Terry’s last solo effort “Back To Eden” emerging nine years ago but this time he’s teamed up with buddy Mike Slamer! Slamer is probably one of the most well respected and loved British melodic rock guitarists of all time starting his career with Brum band City Boy! It’s been a busy year for Brock after been unveiled as the new singer with Giant, this solo album and of course the new album with reformed British AOR’sters Strangeways.

Another stunning melodic rock album from the Frontiers records stable, this is a fantastic slice of feel good rock. I think the average melodic rock fan is going to love this and welcome this album with open arms. I suppose the biggest negative non genre fans could pose is that it’s a touch formulaic, it has obviously been crafted to appeal to a certain audience and Slamer’s guitar work does at time seem to be reigned in a little. Having said that it ticks all the right box’s with me, strong melodies, big catchy guitar riffs, powerful and emotive vocals and relatable lyrics. Whilst Brock & Slamer haven’t re-invented the wheel it’s still a collection of songs that stand out amongst the crowd and will definitely appease genre fans. Brock’s vocals are fantastic throughout showing his versatility letting rip on some songs and been all smooth the next. His voice has a warmth to it that make’s him one of my favourite singers and it’s obviously led to him been an exceeding popular vocalist within the scene. Mike Slamer creates some great musical moments and his trademark style is evident, reigned in or not, it’s still damn good, this guy really knows how to write a melodic rock guitar riff!

“Diamond Blue” really puts me in mind of Slamer’s old band (and much loved by me!) Steelhouse Lane. A big ass riff grabs your attention and builds up to a really smooth chorus. This rocker combines powerful guitar work and soaring melodies to deliver a real in your face opener to the album. “It’s You” has feel good factor 10 written all over it! The first time I listened to the song I found myself smirking to myself (yes I agree & I am seeking help!) and the song has a really infectious feel good vibe to it, seriously if I’m the only one this song affects in this way I’m going to start to worry! A Catchy guitar riff coupled with an infectious catchy sing along chorus make it a real winner “cause baby It’s You”! “Jessie’s Gone” is a co-write with Brock’s Strangeways band mate Ian Stewart. I love the guitar work on this tune, Brocks vocals are smooth and emotive and it has a fantastic chorus.

“No More Mr Nice Guy” is a strong guitar driven rocker with Slamer laying down some of his trademark riffs. A full force rocker which Brock roars on! “The Rain” is an emotionally charged ballad, it really gripped me and show’s what a great vocalist Brock is - A real standout for me! “Broken” is a bit odd in that it’s not in character with the rest of the album. The darkest and moodiest song on the album both musically and lyrically and it’s a killer song with emotive lyrics which stick with me and a powerful, melodic in your face chorus.

“Face In The Crowd” has a huge chorus with a great guitar lick courtesy of Slamer! “Why” is a mid-tempo rocker with a bluesy vibe. It adds some great musical variation to the album, a strong and powerful song which Brock provides an equally strong and powerful vocal performance on! “Too Young” contains some awesome hook ridden guitar riffs from Slamer causing this driving rocker to imbed itself in your head. A hugely melodic and smooth song which will also help make this a rock dance floor filler!

“A Soldier Falls” is a deep, emotion driven ballad with emotive vocals from Brock. “Face The Night” is another emotive ballad. This piano led song has some killer melodies and makes it a real winner for me. I really liked the lyrics on this one too, a quiet but powerful way to close the album.

A great collection of summery Melodic Rock, with big hooks and a real feel good factor - Just like they used to make! This is bound to be a winner with genre fans as it’s an album full of in your face big riff rockers and deep emotive ballads, with strong guitar riffs and memorable melodies. It’s also an album that grants instant gratification, so melodic rockers everywhere prepare to fill your pants on first listen! Hopefully Mr Brock won’t leave it another nine years for another solo album…..and fingers crossed he’ll ignore the European boo boys and keep wearing the cowboy hat! ROCK ON!

Track Listing: Diamond Blue / It’s You / Jessie’s Gone / No More Mr Nice Guy / The Rain / Broken / Face in The Crowd / Why / Too Young / Soldier Falls / Face The Night

Album Rating: 4/5

Woody's Essential Track: Broken

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