Fireworks

Tom Galley - The Creator Of Phenomena - 'Blind Faith' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/54/4e/32/854_TomGalleyPhenomenaBlindFaith_1290975086.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 28, 2010    
 
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One of the surprise highlights of the year.

Between 1984 and 1993 Tom Galley, along with his brother and one time Whitesnake guitarist Mel, recruited an all-star cast which included Brian May, Glenn Hughes, Cozy Powell, Neil Murray and Scott Gorham, among others and released three fantastic hard rock concept albums under the Phenomena banner. That third album completed the story arc of the concept, although Tom went on to resurrect the project in 2006 using the name PsychoFantasy, with many of those big name contributors happy to jump on board again. Four years down the line Tom has once again brought together an impressive list of musicians to realise his dream and ‘Blind Faith’ is the second instalment in the PsychoFantasy series.

With the sad death in 2008 of Tom’s brother Mel, the guest list this time also includes impressive cameos from guitarists such as Ian Crichton (Saga), Stefan Lindholm (Vindictiv), Jim Kirkpatrick (FM) and session man extraordinaire Tommy Denander, while the vocalists are of a similar calibre. Mike DeMeo (Masterplan/Riot) graces the atmospheric ‘The Sky Is Falling’, which is a great brooding hard rocker that introduces the album extremely well, before new Saga frontman Rob Moratti takes over for the progressive folk vibe of the title track. Moratti’s tone and the songs structure brings a more melodic Threshold to mind and it is a recipe that works extremely well in this setting. The galloping riff and insistent drums of ‘Fighting’ are perfect for Primal Fear’s Ralph Scheepers’ roar, before the majestically powerful bellow of one time Sabbath singer Tony Martin drives the strident riff and haunting keyboards of ‘Liar’.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Next up is Robin Beck, who I have to admit is not a favourite vocalist of mine. However her performance on ‘I Was Gonna Tell You Tonight’ is one of the strongest I’ve heard from her and the song is a perfect fit for her full on delivery. The overly dramatic performance on ‘Angels Don’t Cry’ from Salute/Last Autumn’s Dream frontman Mikael Erlandsson and the harsh blasts of guitar he howls over, does seem out of place and even with a gloriously melodic chorus it is the only weak moment on an otherwise excellent album. Heartland’s Chris Ousey puts things firmly back on track with his passionate vocals on ‘If You Love Her’, working perfectly with the backing choir and slow deliberate stomp that holds together the blistering guitar playing of Denander. Moratti is back for the slow building ballad ‘House Of Love’ with its wonderful string arrangements, before FM’s Steve Overland delivers the type of peerless vocal he has become synonymous with on the gloriously melodic and very FM like ‘Don’t Ever Give Your Heart Away’, before Terry Brock (Giant/Strangeways) brings proceedings to a close with the aggressive melodic rock of ‘One More Chance’.

‘Blind Faith’ is a phenomenal (pardon the pun) mix of hard hitting heavy rock, with gloriously bright melody lines and impassioned vocals from a stellar cast of musicians that makes for one of the surprise highlights of the year.

Steven Reid

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