This album was a long time coming and for a period, there was some back and forth over who would sing on it. In the end, it wasn’t Shy’s most used vocalist Tony Mills in the hot seat, but rather Lee Small (Phenomena/Surveillance) that took the helm – and I for one and really pleased he did.
This is a considerably more rocked up album from the British melodic rockers. This album is perhaps the heaviest of their career and I’m loving the choice of direction. Lee Small has a voice not too far off that of Glenn Hughes/Goran Edman – melodic, yet authorative and powerful. His deeper tone suits the heavier edge that this album carries.
There is a lot going on here. The album is most obviously guitar driven, but keyboards play a big part also, swirling away in the background, while a power packed rhythm section keeps songs pumping.
The trio of songs that lead the album barely stop to take a breath. It’s a truly energetic start. The memorable rock ballad Breathe only slows things down temporarily, while Blood On The Line lifts the tempo back with a dose of Europe style melodic rock.
Pray is a super cool, fast tempo’d urgent little rocker, with a catchy keyboard backdrop that is as immediate as it is catchy.
And Only For The Night sounds like Goran Edman at his best, so you know folks are going to love this.
Over You is pure AOR bliss, wrapped in a slightly heavier beat. The keyboards here are front and center.
The album closes with another highlight – the uptempo and rocking, yet very melodic Union Of Souls, featuring a great vocal and a tight overall band performance.
The Bottom Line
Great stuff! This might just be my favourite Shy album of all now. It’s the best produced and the songs have a cracking energy to them. I prefer this direction over the more AOR of previous records and really think the guitar work on here from Steve Harris is mesmerizing. It is he and vocalist Lee Small that make this album what it is. Awesome.
Review by Andrew McNiece, MelodicRock.com (www.melodicrock.com) October 2011