Although Erol Sora is probably best known for his time playing guitar in the John Lawton Band (Uriah Heep), this is his second solo album following on from 2006’s “Demented Honour”. Sora is Canadian but due to the long time he has spent living in Britain over the years he also has British citizenship. Given the bands he likes and is influenced by it’s no surprise he has enjoyed his time on these shores - Whitesnake, Rainbow, UFO, Gary Moore & Thin Lizzy are all noted in his favourite bands. I didn’t really take to Sora’s last album so I approached this one warily, not really expecting much from it and already thought I wouldn’t like it.
Stylistically “Desire & Truth” is heavily influenced by the classic rock bands of the late 70s and early 80s, but it’s not trying to be a carbon copy of any one of those bands, but you can hear many influences of various bands on many of the songs and many times within one song on some tracks. If you like bands from that era who play bluesy guitar orientated hard rock, this is one for you to check out! My musical taste is normally very polished AOR and Melodic Rock, but betwixt this and Tara’s Secret’s last album I think I’m getting heavily into the new breed of classic rock.
I have to say I really enjoyed this album a helluva a lot more than I expected, a great solid bluesy melodic hard rock album. I think Sora has a decent voice and it does suit the songs but he perhaps isn‘t the strongest vocalist, it would be interesting to hear someone like Paul Rodgers or Danny Bowes tackle some of these great tracks. The real strength of the album is in the guitarwork, some really catchy head-banging riffs, I’m not one normally for guitar heroics or widdling. I’m the guy heading to the bar during the guitar solos at gigs! But here I really enjoyed a lot of the solos Sora pulled out the bag; he showcases his skills without boring the listener, or over indulging in fastest finger noise nonsense!
After being struck by this album, I had to return to Sora’s previous release “Demented Honour” to see if it was as unimpressive as I remembered it. So after blowing the dust off I gave it a spin and found I had changed my mind about it, it is better than I thought - nothing special to my ears but I’m glad I revisited it. It probably has a more traditional melodic rock vibe to it especially in the choruses, so I would have thought I’d prefer this one. It’s not a patch on “Desire and Truth” though, but if you liked the first album you’re going to go ape over this new one!
There are two ballads on here “When You’re Gone” which is fantastic, with some really hook-filled guitar work, a cool melody and hugely memorable chorus. Album closer “When You Gonna Love Me” is perhaps not as instant but is still a really good song with some awesome guitar parts, would be interesting to hear this one without vocals. Both ballads have a strong 70s blues rock ballad vibe to them.
“Taste of Rock & Roll” is a good indicator of the style of the album with a big swaggering riff and a massive blues feel complete with some fantastic guitar work, in a similar vein are “Winter” and “Stop Messin Around”. Given the style of the songs on this album there is quite a few which I think would be great live like the tongue in cheek “Rock & Roll Dog”, which is full of bluesy swagger and has a driving riff. “Invitation” has a fast riff and a real good rhythm that’ll get your head nodding; this is bound to be good live!
“The Storm Has Just Begun” has a great riff, a strong Rainbow influence and a killer guitar solo. The two most instant songs here are “What’s It Got To Do With You & Me” with its hugely melodic chorus supported by a great guitar lick; this would be my choice for lead track as it grabs you on first listen. Also “Diamonds In The Wind” is very instant but I prefer the chorus on the former song, it kicks off with a storming riff and a verse that just gets you rockin’. The chorus is very Bad Company and I’d love to hear Paul Rodgers have a crack at this tune.
If you like big loud guitars, lots of bluesy swagger and have a penchant for melodic rock, this is for you! I’d also highly recommend this to people who like their guitar players, especially the likes of Ritchie Blackmore and John Sykes. A solid album and a must for fans of the British rock bands of the late 70s and early 80s. Now hopefully Sora won’t make us wait four years for the next album and fingers crossed gets his ass back in the UK for some live dates!
Track Listing: Taste Of Rock & Roll / The Storm Has Just Begun / What’s It Got To Do With You & Me / Winter / When You’re Gone / Diamonds In The Wind / Invitation / Stop Messin’ Around / Rock & Roll Dog / When You Gonna Love Me
Album Rating: 4/5
Woody’s Essential Track: What’s It Got To Do With You & Me
Desire & Truth is OUT NOW and is available from all good retailers and www.destinyrocks.com