|Crown Of Thorns Faith||Frontiers Records|
It has been a few years between drinks for Crown Of Thorns and I think some even questioned if there would be another album. The band has had a somewhat varied career in regards to their album output. At times classic, at times delivering a few too many fillers in-between glimpses of brilliance). Recorded with a million dollar advance budget, the band's debut is one of this genre's all time classics and I think few disagree with that.|
Karma and Lost Cathedral is where the band has got it right and Breakthrough and Destiny Unknown are where I think they missed the mark a little. On Faith I think the band delivers the goods once again and matches the quality of Lost Cathedral, making this their best album since 1998.
However, it isn't quite the album I expected either. It is a fairly laid back release all things considered and those looking to hear a record with the edge of the debut may be disappointed. What the guys have done right is the production – this is a great sounding release with a big sound and the mix is perfectly balanced.
The songs themselves are also all quality. As stated, the direction and general pace of the album overall might disappoint some, but there is no doubt these are some wonderfully smooth and melodic AOR tracks. They also reveal several layers of vocals and instrumentation on repeated listens.
The opening rocker Faith has that classic COT sound and that crunchy guitar riff that could have been used a little more through the album and All In My Heart is a pleasant uptempo melodic rocker.
The double headed delivery of the ballads Living In The Shadows and The One perhaps slows the momentum of the opening half of the album, but they are still great songs.
Living In The Shadows is slow ballad with a good chorus and The One is class AOR. The crunch returns with the old school sounding Rock Ready – the album could perhaps have used another couple of tracks in this vein.
Another ballad already with the big AOR anthem Believe Me. And despite the pace slowing again, this is an album highlight and wonderful sentimental ballad with a killer chorus. Is it just me – or does the volume of the next song Nobody drop in volume? A dull track at any rate unfortunately.
Stay With Me picks the tempo up again and features a memorable chorus.
All I Want to do is yet another ballad, but again…a great one. Lush production and a killer chorus make it another AOR highlight.
Rocking again with the track Home Again, which reminds me of the Lost Cathedral album at its best. The chorus is pure AOR.
The album closes with yet another slow ballad and again the band delivers, but it is a case of too many ballads lessening the impact of this track.
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