Wednesday, June 22, 2016

REVIEW : Acacia Avenue / Early Warning (2016)

The super-project of Acacia Avenue is back with its brand new release with the title "Early Warning". The mastermind behind this project is the multi-talented musician Torben Enevoldsen who is well-known from his works with Fate and Fatal Force to name a few.

The last record, "Cold", was a fine slice of pure melodic rock/hard rock stuff at its best and featured some excellent arrangements, catchy tunes, a strong guitar work and superb performances from artists such as Rob Moratti, Peter Sundell (Grand Illusion), Steve Newman and Torben Lyshom among others.

After the release of "Cold", Torben worked on some new ideas and nowadays these ideas became a reality with "Early Warning". As in the previous records, the same here Torben gathered his good friends, Rob Moratti (ExSaga, Final Frontier), Steve Newman (Newman), Andy Engberg (Sorcerer, ExSection A), Mats LevĂ©n (Candlemass, ExYngwie Malmsteen), Torben Lysholm (Pangea) and Albin Ljungqvist to share some vocals for the new effort and the result is once again extremely interesting. Special guests include Pontus Egberg (King Diamond), Peter Steincke (Fate), Anders Johansson (Ex-Hammerfall, Ex-Yngwie Malmsteen) and Johan Koleberg (Therion).  Enevoldsen handles the bass (except for two songs), the keyboards and guitars, as well some lead and background vocals.

"Real Love" which opens the new album is an up-tempo and ass-kickin' melodic rock diamond that features an out of this world guitar solo and a chorus line to die for!! The bluesy and AOR-ish "Broken Dreams" steals the show here while in "Early Warning" Steve Newman gives a strong kick in your ass with his powerful vocals!! The late 80's edgy rocker of "TNT" put more muscle here and "Time To Listen" is yet another killer melodic hard rock cut!! Check out the groovy and more technical tune of "Need To Let Go" which is among my favorites from the new album.  

Acacia Avenue did it again! "Early Warning" is yet another strong release by Torben Enevoldsen and his 'friends'. His guitar playing is almost genius and the songs are all well-written and well-performed with tons of melodies to die for. The incredible list of guests, of course, gives an extra flavor to the final result that makes it a sensational purchase for each and every fan of the melodic sound generally.    

Rating: 9/10

Track Listing :
01 Real Love 
02 Running Out Of Time 
03 Broken Dreams 
04 Early Warning 
05 Survive 
06 A New Beginning 
07 TNT 
08 Space Truckin' 
09 Time To Listen 
10 All For Love 
11 Need To Let Go 
12 The Man In The Mirror

”Acacia Avenue” (2010 - Lion Music)

”Cold” (2014 - AOR Heaven)

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