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Mark Slaughter – ‘Halfway There’

posted 1 Aug 2017, 08:58 by Paul Woodward

(EMP)

Review by Woody

I was really disappointed and underwhelmed by Mark Slaughters previous and debut solo album ‘Reflections In The Rear View Mirror’. I think a lot of that had to do with my own very high expectations as the album garnered plaudits everywhere I looked upon its release. I’m a big fan of Slaughter even though I know many find them an acquired taste and their appearance at HRH AOR Festival recently was heartbreakingly awful. When I was asked to review this album, I did feel apprehensive and had real doubts on the quality of what I was about to hear.

I was taken totally by surprise after my initial spin, I loved it, so the repeat listens began feverishly. I think my low expectations left me wide open to the sucker punch that Slaughter’s song writing delivered instantly and relentlessly. It really harks back to the glory days of Slaughter in so many ways but he never goes over old ground it’s fresh and exciting with that Slaughter familiarity. He has without doubt given old school Slaughter fans an album that they crave, it’s a fan pleaser for sure, especially for those fans who want that old flavour.

There is a very varied mix of styles, tempo’s and tones which keeps the album fresh and innovative throughout. You have strong hard rock songs with distinctive instant melodies, metallic downbeat and driven numbers as well as emotional ballads.

With this album as was the case with its predecessor Mark Slaughter takes control of everything from the production, to the performance of all instruments and of course the song writing. He really has shone with his song writing and lyrics and really has delivered some of his best work on this album, vocally he is in top form and very impressive and his multi instrumental talents really show what a real talent he is.

‘Halfway There’ is the power ballad the eighties forgot, it could easily have been the emotional set piece in any film released in the late eighties or early nineties, the stunning chorus on ‘Turn It’, the upbeat rocker ‘Hey You’ and the evocative and potent ‘Forevermore’ are all songs which need your ears wrapped around them!

This is a killer album from a genre legend and any self-respecting melodic hard rock fan needs to check it out and then obviously splash their cash on what I’m sure will be one of the most popular and enduring albums of 2017!

Track listing: Hey You / Devoted / Supernatural / Halfway There / Forevermore / Conspiracy / Reckless / Disposable / Turn It / Not Here

Album Rating: 9/10

Woody’s Essential Track: Forevermore

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