When Melodic Hard Rock is done right, the results are downright glorious. There are a lot of bands that are proof positive of this. There are also some that horribly miss the mark and sound incredibly dated. However, REVOLUTION SAINTS are a group that usually delivers on all fronts. New album Rise is out now via Frontiers Music and I thought we’d check it out together, whaddaya think? Deen Castronovo (drums/lead vocals), Jack Blades (bass/vocals), and one of my favorite guitarists Doug Aldrich once again craft a bunch of tunes that will get everyone rocking in fine fashion. Right from the start “When the Heartache Has Gone” reminds you just how good these men are at writing killer rock anthems, amiright??
Next up is “Price We Pay,” a mid-tempo track that features a back and forth between Blades and Castronovo on the verses. It’s really cool to hear these guys sing together, as both of them are excellent at what they do. Then Mr. Aldrich comes in and lays down an absolute monster of a guitar solo, so there that is. Title track “Rise” puts the pedal to the metal, but it’s not that great. Yis, Aldrich solos his ass off, but overall this is not one of the better offerings. “Coming Home” is one of those tunes that is very uplifting and empowering, making it a favorite. And “Higher” simply rocks its ass off! “Talk to Me” has an excellent message about getting help if you need it, and I beg of you, if that is the case please do so, okay? We want you here.
“It’s Not the End (It’s Just the Beginning)” truly sounds like a band having fun, and once again, yep, you guessed it, Doug Aldrich melts our faces with an incredible guitar solo! Plus that hook is fucking catchy! This song also showcases one of Deen’s best vocals, so that helped me love it. “Million Miles” has a big, catchy chorus but overall the song is just OK for me, not a world beater. “Win Or Lose” sounds so much like a mish-mosh of melodic tracks, going from one mode to the other it sounds disingenuous. I wasn’t expecting this, but I’ll deal with it. Closing the record is “Eyes of a Child”, a piano-driven song carried and sung by Blades, and it’s gorgeous. Aldrich lays down some beautiful acoustic guitars, too.
At the end of the day REVOLUTION SAINTS are a great fucking band. And at the end of the day their first two albums (self-titled and Light In the Dark) are excellent. This new effort Rise is very good, but quite frankly it doesn’t rise (see what I did there?) to the occasion that the first two discs did. Some of the songs are just too formulaic and sound like stuff that JOURNEY rejected. Don’t get me wrong, I love these guys, but I’m simply not as impacted as I was before. I know their next record will undoubtedly be better. I’d really love for them to do a U.S. tour, though. Then again I’ve probably got a better chance of getting pregnant by a wooden dick.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Coming Home”, “It’s Not the End (It’s Just the Beginning)”, “When the Heartache Has Gone”, “Higher”, “Talk to Me”, “Price We Pay”