Mark Slaughter - 'Halfway There'

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Mark Slaughter - 'Halfway There'

A killer album from a genre legend.

I was really disappointed and underwhelmed by Mark Slaughter's debut solo album 'Reflections In The Rear View Mirror'. I think a lot of that had to do with my own very high expectations as the album had garnered plaudits everywhere I looked upon its release. I'm a big fan of Slaughter even though I know many find them an acquired taste; their appearance at HRH-AOR Festival recently was heartbreakingly awful. When I was asked to review this, I did feel apprehensive and had real doubts on the quality of what I was about to hear.

I was taken totally by surprise after my initial spin, I loved it, so the repeat listens began feverishly. I think my low expectations left me wide open to the sucker punch that Mark Slaughter's song-writing delivered instantly and relentlessly. It really harks back to the glory days of Slaughter in so many ways but he never goes over old ground; it's fresh and exciting with that Slaughter familiarity. He has given old-school Slaughter fans an album that they crave. It's a fan pleaser for sure, especially for those enthusiasts who want that old flavour.

There's a very varied mix of styles, tempos and tones which keeps the album fresh and innovative throughout. You have strong Hard Rock songs with distinctive instant melodies, Metallic downbeat and driven numbers as well as emotional ballads.

With this album, as was the case with its predecessor, Mark Slaughter takes control of everything from the production, to the performance of all instruments and, of course, the song-writing. He really has shone with his song-writing and lyrics and has really delivered some of his best work on this album. Vocally, he is in top form and very impressive, and his multi-instrumental work really shows what a real talent he is.

'Halfway There' is a power ballad that the eighties forgot, it could easily have been the emotional set piece in any film released in the late eighties or early nineties, while the stunning chorus on 'Turn It', the upbeat Rocker 'Hey You' and the evocative and potent 'Forevermore' are all songs which need your ears wrapped around them!

This is a killer album from a genre legend; any self-respecting Melodic Hard Rock fan needs to check it out and then obviously splash their cash on what I'm sure will be one of the most popular and enduring albums of 2017!

Paul Woodward

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