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Chantel McGregor - 'Lose Control' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/9e/93/39/Chantel-McGregor-Lose-Control-87-1449513296.jpg Hot

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Potentially a superstar in the making.

There is an abundance of female artists like Joanne Shaw Taylor, Samantha Fish and Christina Skjolberg (to name but three) who are proving that it's not just the guys who can be seriously acknowledged as true Blues guitarists. Now added to that list is Chantel McGregor.

The Yorkshire lass debuted with 'Like No Other' in 2011 and has consistently been recognized throughout the Blues scene ever since with an abundance of awards from "Young Artist Of The Year" to "Best Female Vocalist" and "Guitarist Of The Year" – the first time the award was given to a female artist and not an achievement to be sniffed at. However, for sophomore release 'Lose Control', McGregor has shifted her style considerably – not turning her back on the Blues, but using it as the basis and making the transition towards a more Contemporary Hard Rock style with Progressive influences, all to stunning effect.

Influenced by Southern Gothic culture, 'Lose Control' is a predominantly dark, sombre and somewhat twisted affair, augmented by the Gothic imagery throughout the album's sleeve. The opener 'Take The Power' is dominated by a bruising riff with an element of Grunge, the distorted vocal style enhancing the dark mood – the dense, crushingly heavy, repetitive riff that opens the stunning follow-up 'Your Fever' pushes the mood even further downwards, so when the rhythm kicks in it comes as somewhat of a reprieve. 'Burn Your Anger' and 'Southern Belle' feature more of a commercial Contemporary Hard Rock style, while later on 'Killing Time' more than nods to the likes of Royal Blood and The Black Keys.

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The album's ballads also continue in the moody vein, the gentle acoustic and calming vocal of 'Anaesthetize' is counteracted by the dark lyric with the subtle strings adding to the effect. 'Eternal Dream' is similarly structured though delivered with electric guitar, while the quite beautiful 'Home' is a more uplifting acoustic piece. The album's outstanding cut is the closing 'Walk On Land', a gently building slow-burner with Progressive overtones, at seven-and-a-half minutes it's the longest cut, though the final five minutes are completely instrumental, replete with quite stunning guitar solo – Mostly Autumn fans will absolutely love this.

Although a dark and moody album due to the subject matter, it's still very accessible and highly enjoyable. In my interview with McGregor elsewhere this issue, she reveals she started her own independent label so she can be more hands on and control everything. Best brace yourself Chantel McGregor, as on the strength of this release the big boys are sure to come knocking! Potentially a superstar in the making.

Ant Heeks

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