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Silver Mountain – ‘Roses & Champagne’ & ‘Breakin’ Chains’

posted 14 Jan 2016, 04:43 by Paul Woodward

(Cherry Red Records)

Review by Woody

So with a band name like Silver Mountain you’d guess the people in this band would be Rainbow and Ritchie Blackmore fans, and you’d be right! If you’ve never heard of Silver Mountain before they play neo-classical rock in the vein of Yngwie Malmsteen and Impellterri with huge nods to the style and influence of Ritchie Blackmore.

‘Roses & Champagne’ was originally released in 1988 and it is big, bombastic and epic as well as having strong Rainbow influences to its style. Given the era this album was from it will not surprise you to learn that it is extremely commercial and amidst the epic-ness and guitar widdling are strong melodies and memorable choruses. It’s a good album but you can hear why Silver Mountain never attained the popularity of Malmsteen and Impelltteri. Jonas Hansson’s vocals on ‘Not You Baby’ have a distinct Graham Bonnett sound to them so not only have they a connection to Rainbow but Bonnett has been in bands with both Malmsteen and Impelltteri too!

The bonus live tracks are a little superfluous and don’t really add a lot to the album, recorded in 2010 only the cover tracks are worth a look see, Deep Purple’s ‘Strange Kind Of Woman’ and Queen’s ‘The Show Must Go On’. The latter is actually a quite good cover with a female vocalist and the symphonic nature of that song suiting the bands style.

‘Breakin Chains’ was released in 2001 and saw the band evolve its sound into more melodic metal territory occupied by symphonic metal bands like Stratovarius and Dragonforce, far heavier and with fast rhythm sections. ‘Breakin Chains’ isn’t a patch on the previous release in many ways, poorer production values, weaker vocals and lethargic song writing.

The bonus tracks on this album are also taken from the same 2010 concert, but this time all the tracks are one’s from this album. As I didn’t take to this album I didn’t hold out much hope for the live versions to change my mind and they didn’t. Live recordings can be hit and miss and I find most the time live recordings are mainly for hard core fans who want some of that live magic anytime they want.

If you already own these albums I can’t say the bonus tracks make them worth re-purchasing, hard core fans only I’m afraid. If you don’t own ‘Champagne & Roses’ though and you like your eighties flavoured neo-classical rock akin to Malmsteen and Impelltteri and a bit of Rainbow bombast thrown into the mix, then I can highly recommend you giving it a spin!

Track Listing: Roses & Champagne – Romeo & Juliet / Light The Light / Where Are You / Forest Of Cries / Coming Home / Paris / Paradise Smile / Not You Baby / Down Town Junkie / King Of The Sea / Down Town Junkie ~ Always / Strange Kind Of Woman ~ Haywire / The Show Must Go On

Breakin’ Chains – Prophet Of Doom / Before the Storm / Felo De Se / Man Of No Present Existence / Scarlet Pimpernel / Maniac / Axeman and the Virgin / Breakin’ Chains / Rider Of The Night / A.S.W.A.S.T / The Butterfly / Dance Around The Fire / Millattack / Resurrection / Prophet Of Doom / Maniac / Axeman and the Virgin / Man Of No Present Existence / Before The Storm

Album Rating: 6/10

Woody’s Essential Track: Romeo & Juliet