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Revolution Road - 'Revolution Road'

posted 26 Jan 2014, 15:29 by Paul Woodward
(Avenue Of Allies)

Review By Woody

Revolution Road marks the return of Snakes in Paradise vocalist Stefan Berggren to the world of melodic rock who has been A.W.O.L from the scene for a few years now. This album sees him collaborate with the ultra busy keyboardist and producer Alessandro Del Vecchio and his musical team of Francesco Marras (guitar) Carmine Martone (guitar) Paul Logue (bass) and Francesco Jovino (drums) all of whom contribute to the song writing on this album.

The wide spread of the song-writers actually keeps this album quite fresh highlighting various different styles and influences whilst remaining firmly in melodic rock territory. There is some strong out and out pure AOR moments like on album opener ‘Wings Of Hope’, strong country touches on ‘Pretending Hearts’ but in the main this collection has a strong sense of the blues. Del Vecchio even spends plenty of time behind the Hammond to increase the bluesy nature of most the album tracks and it helps make what is essentially a traditional melodic rock album be that little bit different from the rest of the pack.

It’s great to hear Berggren again and his voice here is sublime, clean and crisp with many gratifying melodic choruses from him. Perhaps not as raw and emotive as we have heard in the past, but it is all in keeping with the feel of this record. Hopefully this album will see Berggren become more active in the scene again and fingers crossed result in the return of Snakes In Paradise, well we can dream can’t we!

Revolution Road is a solid album of blues infused melodic rock which nod’s its head occasionally to classic rock and wears it’s blues era Whitesnake influences like a badge of pride. Del Vecchio once again shows us why he is a much sought after and busy producer and well respected song writer, here he shows he can do a bit of the blues as well as the pure AOR and melodic metal we’ve also had from him in the past. I was unaware of guitarist’s Martone and Marras prior to this release but was really impressed with their performances here especially when switching from AOR style riffing to more laid back blues swaggering riffs.

This is all good clean fun and should get the average AOR fan very excited, it might miss a little bit of magic to make it a classic but ultimately this is a cool collection of nice and breezy feel good summertime tunes that will win you over with its smile inducing nature.

Track Listing: Wings of Hope / Shooting Star / Revolution Road / Hold On / Ain’t Gonna Give My Heart Away / Love’s Got A Hold On Me / Losing You / Take Your Love To Town / Pretending Hearts / Balloon

Album Rating: 8/10

Woody’s Essential Track: Pretending Hearts

Track by Track:

‘Wings Of Hope’ is an Anthemic opener with a strong guitar drive and a big sing along chorus. There is some cool subtle keyboard licks which really gives this song some light. A Powerful and instant chorus on rocker ‘Shooting Star’ make it a real stand out track especially with Berggren’s awesome vocal performance. ‘Revolution Road’ has a cool harmony drenched sweeping chorus which is sure to be a hit with AOR fans. Some intriguing guitar licks from this tracks co-writer Carmine Martone make it stick in your head.

‘Hold On’ delivers another cracking chorus to us that hits you from the first listen and love Berggren’s vocals on this one. ‘Ain’t Gonna Give My Heart Away’ is a ballad with a full on blues vibe complete with Hammond playing from Del Vecchio. The blues era Whitesnake comparisons are obvious here and it has a great blues infused guitar riff. Another bluesy track is ‘Love’s Got A Hold On Me’ with its laid back guitar licks and meandering vocal lines, a subtle track. A Bright and breezy dance inducing pure AOR guitar riff opens ‘Losing You’ up before relaxing into a swaggering blues vibe on the verse then delivering a huge sweeping AOR chorus complete with driven guitar hook.

‘Take Your Love To Town’ is a swaggering mid-tempo blues infused track which also hints at blues era Whitesnake. ‘Pretending Hearts’ has a strong country feel to it, but overall this is a pure AOR fan boy’s dream of a song, with its multi layered melodies, hooks and beautiful chorus. ‘Balloon’ is a blues track with a very melodic rock chorus and a crunching riff.