|Posted on November 21, 2014 at 6:55 PM|
Rated X – Rated X
Written by The Rock Man
Once again the good folks at Frontier Records deliver the goods. Rated X is the label's latest supergroup sensation and is the brainchild of label president Serafino Perugino, and was produced by Alessandro Del Vecchio (Hardline/Eden’s Curse) who is quickly becoming the label's master producer. Rated X pull no punches with their stunning debut self-titled album. The band boast some heavy hitters with Carmine Appice (King Kobra/Blue Murder/Rod Stewart) on drums, Tony Franklin (Blue Murder/The Firm) on bass, Karl Cochran ( Nuclear Assault) on guitar and Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow/Deep Purple/Sunstorm/Yngwie Malmsteen) on vocals. The result of this collaboration is something out of the box.
This 12 track collection of nostalgic inspired rock runs for just over an hour and gets out of the blocks quickly with Get Back My Crown, which explodes in an assault of guitars and drums. This track well and truly sets the pace for the rest of the album and from here it is full steam ahead. This Is Who I Am has one of the most crunching, melodic, grooving guitar riffs I have heard all year in addition to a ripping solo from Cochran. Fire And Ice is a mid tempo track that starts off slowly but builds steadily then just kicks in with a catchy chorus driven by some meaty guitar work. The middle part of the track features some great keyboard/guitar/drum work which brought to mind thoughts of Dream Theater, but a great deal shorter obviously.
I Don’t Cry No More showcases serious shades of early Whitesnake/Deep Purple. Lhasa is a 7 plus minute epic which hovers somewhere between Led Zeppelin and Rainbow. Again, one the features of the song is the awesome smoking guitar solo. Additionally, the punchy driving guitar riff with Appice’s crunching drums adds to the heaviness of the track and his drum solo in the middle of the song is quite a nice touch.
You Are The Music is your standard garden variety JLT ballad. It is these types of songs where his strong soulful vocal approach really shines through. Brazen Abbot guitarist Nikolo Kotzev makes a guest appearance on Maybe Tonight. As well as several other tracks such as Peace Of Mind and Our Love Is Not Over. The latter being a really nice mid-tempo half ballad-ish piece with a really cool solo from Kotzev and some nice drumming from Appice once again. On The Way To Paradise is a solid toe tapping rocker which you could crank up on the car stereo and put the foot down too. The album comes to a conclusion with Stranger In Us All which takes no prisoners with its bombastic opening and driving chugging riff accompanied by JLT’s melodic harmonizing.
Overall Rated X took me to places I was not expecting. There is a strong 1970s feel to the record and a strong Jon Lord/Richie Blackmore vibe going on through out the entire album. If you have fond memories of growing up during this era this album might take you back there. A most enjoyable trip indeed.
Categories: Album Reviews