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'Resurrection Kings'
(Frontiers Music)
Release date: Friday 29th January 2016

Johnny Main

johnny main

resurrection kings

The word "supergroup" tends to get over-used these days because whenever a couple of artists collaborate, the term is more often than not rolled out.

Resurrection Kings are hailed as a new "supergroup" and to be fair to them, they have more of a claim than most artists who use the term.

When you look at the four talents who make up this band, and see they've also been involved with bands as diverse as Red Dragon Cartel, Great White, Dokken, Dio, Black Sabbath (and their mid-2000s incarnation, Heaven & Hell) then that's one helluva talent pool right there.

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The brainchild of guitarist Craig Goldy, Resurrection Kings were formed when he seeked out like-minded individuals and he didn't have to look far.

First on Goldy's list was vocalist Chas West who Goldy had worked with as part of the Hollywood Allstarz project. When West received the call some years ago, Goldy explained that his plan was very simple – to do "something" together.

Further down the line, an offer from Frontiers Records to bank roll a project of 80s stars ignited the passion of Goldy and West, and the hunt was on to complete the band.

Both Goldy and drum maestro Vinny Appice had previously worked together with Ronnie James Dio (although at separate times in Dio's long and successful career), it was Goldy who called up Appice who was more than eager to be involved.

The final piece of the puzzle was bass player Sean McNabb whose experiences with Dokken and Great White made him the perfect man for the vacant role.

This project isn't merely about a bunch of stars hanging out playing covers and messing around though – this album is one hundred percent original material and the eleven tracks showcased here have been laboured over to ensure they're the very best that they can be, and that nothing was left to chance.

Listening to it, though, I just don't really get it. The musicianship is understandably great but the songs are ultimately forgettable.

If you look at 'Living Out Loud', for example, it's a solid enough number, complete with its guitar riff that's reminiscent of Led Zeppelin's 'Kashmir', and the band are onto a winner if they're trying to build their own epic number out of this song, but I've still to be fully convinced this is anything near a future classic.

Sure, it's one of the longer tracks here and the guitar solos are well played but this is just feels like an unnecessary bit of show-boating from Goldy during the numerous solo sections. We know he's got talent, so he doesn't need to go overboard in trying to remind us of that.

'Wash Away' starts off well enough with its boisterous intro and it's a mid-paced number but Goldy's guitar seems to overpower everything else as it battles to be the centre of attention instead of the vocals. It plays to the strengths of Appice and his drumming skill but the constant louder and then quieter sections make it seem like the band lose sight of where the song is going.

resurrection kings
'Never Say Goodbye' is the album's big ballady number, which seems to tick all the power ballad boxes. From the subtle piano intro through the slow, plodding tempo and the big sing-along chorus it's entertaining enough but, again, it's pretty standard stuff.

On the plus side, West gives a strong and heartfelt performance proving he's a great singer but you sometimes don't need to put a ballad on there because it's the perceived thing to do.

'Don't Have To Fight Anymore' is one of the better faster tempo numbers with West stretching his voice once again while Goldy screeches his way through the number with the two clashing at times. Appice tries to keep the beat straight and steady but the ever changing tempo gives the song an uncomfortable, almost strained feel.

To be honest, there's just too much going on here for my liking and I think this song would be better served with a steady tempo throughout and being an instrumental allowing Goldy to showcase his talent without getting in the way of West.

As experiments go, this is an interesting one but this isn't an album I'll be going back to in a hurry. All four are undeniably talented but for me the album as a whole seems a bit unfocused and has everyone battling to be the centre of attention.

Will this quartet continue or is this the sole output of their collaboration? That remains to be seen, but let's hope if they do continue that they create a more cohesive follow up.

You can see the official video for 'Livin' out Loud' here:

'Resurrection Kings' Track Listing:
Distant Prayer
Livin' out Loud
Wash Away
Who Did You Run To
Fallin' for You
Never Say Goodbye
Path of Love
Had Enough
Don't Have to Fight No More
Silent Wonder
What You Take

Resurrection Kings are:
Chas West – Vocals
Craig Goldy – Guitar
Sean McNabb – Bass Guitar
Vinny Appice – Drums

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