Revolution Saints - 'Rise'

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Revolution Saints - 'Rise'

Should feature highly in the albums of the year for 2020 of Melodic Rock fans across the globe.

Super-group Revolution Saints (Deen Castronovo – vocals/drums, Jack Blades – bass/vocals and Doug Aldrich - guitars) are back with their third release 'Rise', a follow-up to 2017's 'Light In The Dark' and 2015's self-titled debut opus. Those who unfairly criticised (in my opinion) this as this being just another Frontiers project and sounding too generic, will be pleased to hear that the third album definitely has more of a band feel; no doubt aided by a greater involvement by the band members themselves. Once again production has been handled by Frontiers go-to producer Alessandro Del Vecchio, who also contributed keyboards and backing vocals, plus most of the song-writing, arguably his finest to date. Additional song-writing credits go to Sam Rossall (Passion), Doug Aldrich and Jack Blades. The recording process took place in Milan and in Aldrich and Blades' own studios in California and Seattle.

There's definitely a greater ebb and flow to 'Rise' than previous albums; from the fast and furious Melodic Rock of opener 'When The Heartache Is Done', to the power ballad 'Closer', to the hard hitting title-track, and back to emotional ballad of album closer 'Eyes Of A Child', a track written by Blades and his Damn Yankee's cohort Tommy Shaw (Styx).

Everything seems to have stepped up a level on this recording; Castronovo's (Perry-like) vocals, Aldrich's guitar playing (warm, intense, melodic and furious in equal measures), Blades' increased involvement (both in terms of singing and song-writing), and the aforementioned song-writing of Del Vecchio. The latter is typified on 'Price We Pay', a wonderful co-lead vocal between Blades and Castronovo, and arguably one of the best songs the Italian magician has ever written. As you would expect with musicians of this calibre, the backing vocals are superb throughout, none more so than on the excellent 'Higher'. My personal favourite is the awesome 'Talk To Me' with shared vocals between Blades, Castronovo and female singer LunaKaire.

The Journey comparisons are inevitable; however, that should be seen as a major positive, and tempered with the fact that the AOR giants, from San Francisco, have not released any new music since 2011's 'Eclipse'. I think this could well be the best of the three Revolution Saints albums, and even this early, should feature highly in the albums of the year for 2020 of Melodic Rock fans across the globe.

Mark Donnelly

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