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Full Throttle Rock

Album Review: Sweet & Lynch - Only To Rise

Posted on January 10, 2015 at 11:20 PM

Sweet & Lynch – Only To Rise

Written by The Rock Man

The first shot in the war for your hard earned dollar has been fired. As 2015 promises to be a year of impressive album releases, it has not taken long for the first of many to arrive in the form of the much anticipated release from Sweet & Lynch titled Only To Rise. This exciting new band is the creation of Frontiers Music President Serafino Perugino who asked Stryper frontman and guitarist Michael Sweet to sing on this album which legendary axeman George Lynch was involved with. The result is a major home run for all parties concerned.

The record launches into the stratosphere with the opening track The Wish. This is the first single from the album and my view has always been that any singles off an album are for all intents and purposes a 3 to 4 minute promo for the record. Having said that, The Wish is the perfect marketing tool to sell this album. The track explodes in a ball of melodic guitar, bass and drum ecstasy before Michael Sweet’s high power vocals come crashing on through. This is followed up by Dying Rose which keep the foot well and truly planted on the throat with more edgy melodic riffage and soaring vocal acrobatics. Love Stays is the first ballad on the record and I even found this had a little bit of bite about it while the rockers continue on Time Will Tell and Rescue Me.

Me Without You is the album’s second ballad and I thought sounded somewhat Queensryche in nature, however this could just be me. Recover and Divine lay out a healthy dose of heavy while September which is one of many highlights is full of punch and serious groove. And then we come to Strength In Numbers which is drowning in Led Zeppelin overtones.

The highlight of Hero-Zero is its driving bass and strong Dokken flavour, I could seriously imagine Don Dokken singing this. The album come to a conclusion with the hard driving titled track which features a smoking solo, some thrashing double bass drumming and again, Sweet’s trademark soaring vocal approach. This track is pure, unrelenting 80s metal to the max.

As one might expect when you have such a talented pairing like Michael Sweet and George Lynch the musicianship, songwriting and production is A+. But there is more to this collaboration than the above mentioned. Brian Tichy (Foreigner/Billy Idol/Whitesnake) is a powerhouse behind the drums and laying down some solid bass lines is James Lomenzo (White Lion/Megadeth/BLS). All of this combined makes for a cocktail of melodic metal magic. Personally I cannot find a reason why the Stryper fans won’t like this and the same can be said for the Dokken/Lynch Mob crowd, there should be enough on here to satisfy most fans of hard rock/metal. Clearly putting these two together is a master stroke and so obvious, I cannot believe no one thought of it sooner.

Categories: Album Reviews

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