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'Ahead Of Time'
(Avenue Of Allies)

Phil Kane

phil kane

frozen rain ahead of time

Well I do declare, if it isn't an AOR album that hasn't been dragged kicking and screaming from its obscure grave and what a little cracker it is too. Should the need ever arise for the likes of Rock Candy and Yesterrock to get involved then this album would be more than worth the effort to resurrect it.

Where Kurt Vereecke, the driving force behind Frozen Rain, used a gaggle of melodic rock big hitters on its debut, for this second album he has used a permanent, more stable six piece line up. This tactic of utilizing stability as opposed to celebrity has resulted in 'Ahead Of Time' sounding a lot tougher and edgier; heavier and less keyboard driven.

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The album has a groove that is big and bombastic, the type of pompous AOR that grunge tried to kill off. It has the expansive layered sound that House Of Lords and 'Vigilante' era Magnum pioneered with flurries of Bon Jovi's poppy fluff thrown in for good measure.

You are never going to get away from this stuff sounding dated and just to ram the point home we have the thankfully solitary ballad 'Too Late' with its nasty fluff and the dire closing instrumental 'Voodoo Party' which finally lets the ironic cat of 'Ahead Of Time' out of its bag.

For killer tracks you could do worse than check out the likes of 'Turn It On', 'Not At Home', 'We're Gonna Rock' or 'The Last Dance Ain't Over' to hear how much grunt this sort of stuff can have. Of course it retains the usual formulaic ingredients but c'mon, when things are this good who gives a shit if it's top heavy with clichés? You could dip in almost anywhere on 'Ahead Of Time' and come up with a cracker.

Grunge's attempted purge failed simply because it does not matter how much of a battering melodic rock takes, it just seems to absorb the hits, roll with the changes and carry on regardless.

'Ahead Of Time' is an excellent but flawed example of this rugged, indestructible adaptability.



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