Quick plays: TRICK OR TREAT, DANTE FOX, DIMH, DIVAN

TRICK OR TREAT Rabbit's Hill Pt. 2

TRICK OR TREAT Rabbit’s Hill Pt. 2 Frontiers [Release date 08.07.16]

A concept album from a power/melodic metal band (who used to be a Helloween covers act) based on Richard Adams’ classic novel ‘Watership Down’. What could possibly go wrong?! Nothing I can safely add as Trick Or Treat tell the second part of the book’s story in true flamboyant style with orchestral stylings coupled with some glorious guitar riffing and double speed drumming.

I must admit I am tired of many power/melodic metal albums now as they all sound very similar and thankfully Trick Or Treat prove a notable exception. The songs featuring the black rabbit or the rogue rabbits work best. Getting Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens to guest on ‘They Must Die’ was a stroke of genius as his wailing vocals suit the song to a tee.

Another guest vocalist, Sara Squadrani (Ayreon), adds a suitably gentle, yet majestic air to the ballad ‘Never Say Goodbye’. The vocals of Alessandro Conti are perfectly matched to the music showing his power on the epic ‘The Showdown’ and his quieter tones on ‘Last Breath’.

My first taste of Trick Or Treat and it won’t be my last as I am already hunting down a copy of part one. An album to restore you faith and love in melodic/power metal, highly recommended.  ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

Dante Fox - Breathless

DANTE FOX Breathless AOR Heaven [Release date 26.08.16]

Been a little while since we had new music from Dante Fox and this album is well worth the wait. From the opening melodic rock gem ‘Young Hearts’ you know you are onto a good thing.

The songs have a rich, polished sound – not too clinical mind – and adding ‘keyboard player to the stars’ Eric Ragno and Lee Small (Shy/Phenomena) on harmony vocals adds to the magical mix. ‘All Eyes On You’ keeps the melodic rock bliss going and Sue Willetts vocals are as stunning as ever, heck this and the title track could be Heart in their 80′s pomp/prime.

If that wasn’t enough the ballads/slower numbers, like ‘Broken Hearted Man’, tick all the boxes from the tales of heartbreak in the lyrics through to the precise, yet meaningful guitar solos from Tim Manford.

Quite possibly the best album to date from Dante Fox as everything seems to fall into place on this one. Melodic rock lovers will adore this album I am sure. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

DIVAN Modern Knowledge [Release date 19.08.16]

Hailing from Dublin this is Divan’s debut album and the line-up features members of of The Ambience Affair and Tomorrows.

Musically they are melodic yet very intense at the same time, featuring precise guitar passages and lush arrangements recalling bands like Radiohead. The gentle ‘Patron of the Love I Lost’ reminded me of Simon & Garfunkel. The vocals of Jamie Clarke are very easy on the ear with their dreamlike quality. Interesting album containing various musical styles.  ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

DIMH PROJECT Victim & Maker

Founded back in 2014 the DIMH Project is masterminded by vocalist/bassist/composer Maurizio Amato, who enlisted the help of Davide Montorsi (guitars) and Enrico Varisco (keyboards).

He has the classic rock riffs nailed down as listening to ‘A Poor Genuine Master’ proves. Loving the synth solo on this song – hints of Fish-era Marillion. Amato’s vocals are slightly accented which takes a little getting used to. Interesting mix of styles as ‘Just A Minute!’ has a New wave feel to it, whilst ‘My Soul’ is a fast paced hard rocker.

Worthy of a listen being good, solid hard rock. ***

Review by Jason Ritchie

THE STONE ANGELS Spirit, Love & Higher Meaning

Ever since Jack White proved that two is all that’s need to form a band, there’s been a procession of two pieces, the most recent to grab the imagination of the wider public being Royal Blood.

The latest pretenders for the crown are The Stone Angels – an alternative duo of Dan Hughes (lead vocals and guitars) and Sam McIver.  The pair hail from Torquay, the home of Faulty Towers.

But there’s nothing faulty about The Stone Angels, combining the punch of Royal Blood with some real catchy tunes.  For the most part It may not be overly subtle, but the use of an eighties synth sounds add a retro feel, the addition of horns a funk edge to proceedings on One Track Mind, the piano led Come Alive broods in the manner of Depeche Mode / Dave Gahan, and the acoustic Escape with its swirling keyboards has a vaguely proggy feel.

But they’re at the best when they power it up (which is most of the time).  Hughes charismatic vocals are mixed well to the fore and combined with some strong song writing, Spirt, Love & Higher Spirit is a highly promising debut.  ***

Review by Pete Whalley

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Each week David Randall presents ‘New to GRTR!’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, with the emphasis on independent artists and labels. During December he replays favourite tracks including power plays featured during the year. This show covers the period January-March and was first broadcast on 1 December 2019.

Power Plays w/c 25 November (Mon-Fri)

Throughout December we are featuring Best of 2019 selections from the GRTR! Reviewers.

Featured Albums w/c 25 November (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 Melodic Rock Featured Albums of 2019
12:00-13:00 Melodic Hard Rock Featured Albums of 2019
14:00-16:00 Singer Songwriter Featured Albums of 2019

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

A selection of albums featured in 2019



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