Quick plays: CHITRAL SOMAPALA, MARK SLAUGHTER

CHITRAL SOMAPALA – Sinhabumi
[Release date 23.01.15]

Chitral Somapala is a big name in his home nation of Sri Lanka and on this album he sings in his native language. Rock fans will know him from his time in Power Quest and Firewind, plus he is featured on new albums from the likes of Mob Rules. This however is a different musical adventure and if you are after power metal you are best to look elsewhere. But if you like Somapala’s vocals you will love the gentler, more melodic songs on here.

The most rocking song is ’Ralu Mawathe’, which has that classic melodic rock sound of say Journey. Then something like ‘Nadee Ganga’ is piano/vocals only and ‘Me Lokaya Ape’ is a good, strong pop tune.

Enter this album with open ears and mind and you will enjoy it. Nicely played and produced, a welcome diversion for many rock and metal fans from one of the leading power metal vocalists.  ***

Review by Jason Ritchie

MARK SLAUGHTER – Reflections In A Rearview Mirror

Escape Music [Release date 22.05.15]

Mark Slaughter fronted the 80′s hair metal Slaughter who had a decent run of success and I remember seeing them at the Hammersmith Apollo back in 1990.

This is his solo album, where he plays all the instruments bar the drums played by Mark Goodin. It is a mix of styles, from ‘Never Givin’ Up’ which would sit nicely on Slaughter’s 80′s albums. ‘Somewhere Isn’t Here’ is more pop rock in the style of Cheap Trick and an album stand out.

The acoustic ‘Carry Me Back Home’ is the reflective type of song beloved of fellow 80′s hair metal era singer Mike Tramp. This is another album stand out. More classy melodic rock on ‘The Real Thing’, again this will please the many fans of the band Slaughter. The only blot on the copybook is the duet with Gina Johnson on ‘Don’t Turn Away’, just sounds a little to forced although I do like the harmony vocals. Johnson tries to do an Ann Wilson but falls short.

If you liked Slaughter back in the day and enjoy melodic rock this is one for you without a doubt. Good to as Mark Slaughter still has his vocal power intact unlike some of his contemporaries. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie


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