'Let's Get Serious'
Release Date: 26th May 2014
Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke
Whilst Gus G promotes his solo album and keeps busy handling guitar parts for Ozzy Osbourne's solo venture, the keyboardist and other guitarist from Greek Metal mainstays Firewind, Bob Katsionis keeps busy with muscular-sounding melodic rockers Outloud.
Their third studio album hopes to build on their previous work by offering up ballads, hook-laden upbeat rockers and a cover version.
Things begin in Euro-Cheese territory complete with painful clichés and uninspired form by introducing the listener to 'Death Rock'. I'm sorry, but it's not doing it for my ears at all. This sentiment of mine is compounded when I hear the very classy following two tracks which both present a catchy chorus and smooth arrangement as a whole. 'I Was So Blind' and 'One More Time' both overshadow what feels like a lost opportunity with the opening song.
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The smooth performances continue with 'Bury The Knife' and 'Like A Dream', the former of these two being a real highlight and the latter keeping the momentum rolling. Other highlights like 'It Really Doesn't Matter', their cover version of the OMD classic 'Enola Gay' and 'A While To Go' come thick and fast soaked in melodic splendour reminding those who listen, that these Greek rockers know how to pen a fine tune.
Listen out for special guest drummer George Kollias from the band Nile laying down a respectable performance throughout this album which will do more than satisfy fans of Outloud. On 'Toy Soldiers' the band rev up those rockin' engines and batter the walls of the studio with what some are speculating is their heaviest moment committed to any of their recordings yet.
It reminded me of the time I first heard the track 'Sheer Heart Attack' by Queen – you know that moment when you're blind-sided and a band who you think you understand come at you with something fast and heavy! Incidentally, guitarist Mike Orlando known for his fretwork with Adrenaline Mob pops up as special guest on this fiery event called 'Toy Soldiers'.
The title track interestingly enough is an instrumental which to be honest is alright; fast and melodic it does the business but isn't really up to the level of the other material on show. So if I was being super-critical and went for the jugular, I'd be inclined to say that by dropping two tracks, this album would have been very impressive. Instead, I'm feeling a little let down but can say with my heart on my sleeve that 'Let's Get Serious' has plenty of life in it.
If you purchased either of their first two studio albums, this'll be a great addition and shouldn't bring about any major concerns or surprises. On the other hand, if you're a little choosey about your European themed Rock music you could do a lot worse than check this album out, as the majority of 'Let's Get Serious' is good quality punchy Melodic Rock.
It has hooks, accessible arrangements, good production values and a cover version; what more could you ask for? (That's a rhetorical question, as you could easily add a whole list of things which would make your life a lot better!)
I Was So Blind
One More Time
Bury The Knife
Like A Dream
It Really Doesn't Matter
A While To Go
All In Vain
Another Kind Of Angel
Let's Get Serious