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Salute - 'Heart Of The Machine' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/d3/f7/14/878_SaluteHeartOfTheMachine_1292356468.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     December 14, 2010    
 
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Picking up pretty much more or less from where 'Toy Soldier' left off, 'Heart Of The Machine' is if anything an even stronger, more focused release.

In some cases, more recent releases from the Escape Music stable (once seen as the last bastion of all things svelte and melodic) might have had their longstanding fan base scratching their heads in bemusement. Now don’t get me wrong here, from a purely personal perspective I have no problem whatsoever with the likes of 8 Point Rose, Third Eye or Ferreira, but for what has so long been a predominantly traditional MHR/AOR audience, I can see why questions might start to accrue.

Fortunately, the next couple of releases should provide no such qualms. As most probably already know, there’s a smoking new album from Tom Galley’s Phenomena project to look forward to, but for the time being we’ll turn our attention to ‘Heart Of The Machine’, the second release from Sweden’s Salute.

Formed a couple of years ago, Salute debuted a little under twelve months back with the very well received ‘Toy Soldier’. Still ostensibly a three piece comprising renowned vocalist Mikael Erlandsson, guitarist / producer Martin Kronlund and drummer Imre Daun (the latter two both of Gypsy Rose fame), for this second slab of muscle and melody the trio are joined by Henrik Thomsen (Hope) and David Reece (Bangalore Choir) on bass and backing vocals respectively. I must admit, whilst it took me a while to warm to the pop rock style of Erlandson’s other project (Last Autumn’s Dream), the more traditional melodic hard rockin’ stance of Salute grabbed my attention straight away. Steeped in the finest traditions of classic hard rock bands such as Rainbow, Salute took the neo-classically infused hard rock of a band like Brazen Abbot and successfully grafted it onto the post Queen pop rock sound of Last Autumn’s Dream, throwing in a few choice Scandie references for good measure.

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Picking up pretty much more or less from where ‘Toy Soldier’ left off, ‘Heart Of The Machine’ is if anything an even stronger, more focused release. The brooding title track for example bristles with a mixture of steel and emotion, whilst the pulsating ‘You Can’t Bring Me Down’ features arguably the most impressive Erlandsson vocal I’ve heard to date – all breathy refrains and raw untamed passion. But what I really like about Salute is the way that all the different parties involved seem to ‘click’ to serve the best interests of the song – there are no over inflated ego’s at work here.

Time to put a proper band together methinks because with a brace of strong albums under their collective belts, it’s time that Salute started to take their message to the people!

Dave Cockett



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