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Monday, December 20, 2010

Line of Fire - Momentum album review

Line of Fire – Momentum album review
Released on: Tribunal Records. Release date: Available now.

OK, right off the bat I am guilty of really not knowing much about these guys Line of Fire at all, except that they are US based and signed to Tribunal Records!?
It turns out that it’s been five years since the bands last release so, you’d imagine after having five years to mess around with new material, they should have pulled together something pretty good, right?
Well, in response to that my answer would be, yes they certainly have! – Although I never heard the previous release.

Well, it turns out that it wasn’t that they couldn’t think of anything to write, they possibly had it all written, who knows, but instead it was down to getting some personal (Health issues) and personnel (Line up changes) matters addressed that the band has been away.

The band it seems is based around vocalist Shawn Pelata (Killwhitneydead) and guitarist Nikki Dimage, who have recently been joined by new guitarist. Thomas Clark (Jonin) and I guess they used other sessions musicians to help wrap the rest up. – Not too much in on that from the Tribunal website, press release.

Anyway, it’s a good album, of that there is no doubt and perhaps being named after a Journey track – Don’t know if they were or not, just guessing … - gives an indication of the sound they were looking for, although the press release references Boston too, which is fully valid, as I’ll point out in the review as we go on.
One last thing, there are some great and I mean GREAT songs on here, that if they’d had a big budget production behind, could have made the overall album, huge!

Opener ‘It Takes Time’ certainly reminds me of Journey and possibly a little 38 Special from the opening chords.

The vocals are sooooo Journey like in terms of Steve Perry, plus the phrasing on harmonies, yet the lead guitar style is really not 100% Neal Schon like though, some of the changes and structure of the song too are very Journey and in other spots, I’m reminded of 38 Special again. It’s a very good up tempo track indeed.

With ‘Obsession’ next, the intro and some of the chord progression almost reminds me British rockers Praying Mantis at times, but the deft keyboards touches place it more in true AOR territory. Fairly straightforward pop rocker overall with some punchy chords. Nice harmony guitar part!

‘Give Me All’ almost has me thinking of a punchier Dire Straights type track, but then it takes a different track and the key phrasing that the chorus is sung in, is interesting sounded a little odd at first, but it’s OK.
To a degree you could almost take it as a pre-production Van Halen type track.
There! I bet that’s thrown you, huh?!

OK, if you don’t think ‘I’ll Be the One Tonight’ sounds like Boston, then there’s something wrong with you!
Song structure, harmonies and sound is Boston throughout! I really love this track! Great job guys!

‘I Belong’ once again has echoes of Boston meets Journey about it and is once more very catchy indeed, but there’s just something about the overall production that is just missing the last piece of the jigsaw.
There is absolutely no doubting these guys’ musical abilities, they are a slick act, this is good material for sure.
Something I really need to stress here though is my comparisons really are not meant to knock any act, in any way, they are simply there to perhaps guide folks that like myself before, really knew little or nothing of a specific act before. Believe me, I wish some of the material I used to play in bands would get anything like that!

These guys almost remind me in places musically of Talon another band with a great deal of potential and ‘The Fire Never Dies’ keeps the band on track and Shawn Pelata’s vocals are very impressive …
Any Journey wannabe bands, should listen to this guy!
The guitar work here is again very classy too..

‘I’m Crying For You’ is another great track, kind of power ballad territory to be honest, in a very classy way. Good stuff!

Next track ‘In the Stone,’ is a medium paced easy rocker, with some tasty guitar licks midway through, but for me perhaps is the least hook worthy track here and to a degree ‘Undone’ does the same for me, not really as strong with the hooks as the first two thirds of the album. There’s nothing wrong with the tracks musically, but simply the fact that these guys have so many hooks in the rest of the songs, tends to make these two just a little less. Everything else on here simply glows otherwise.

I really do like next track, ‘Ghost in your Heart,’ which is very reminiscent of say Journey, no bad thing at all to these ears!

Final track is a very interesting cover of Dokken’s ‘Breaking the Chains,’ performed in a completely different form, in the shape of a ballad and these guys really have something with how they’ve done it. I like it! Very melancholy!

Overall, an album that sadly didn’t get my attention when I first received it - Sorry guys! - simply because at the time I was so committed to addressing other things, but it’s an album that I really like. Now I’m trying to catch up with some of the ones that ‘got away,’ if you will …

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

The band’s MySpace page seems to be the best way to keep up with these guys:

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