Frontiers [Release date 04.11.16]
Graham Bonnet has had a busy past year or so, going on tour with his band, having his solo albums re-issued plus ones from his days in Alcatrazz and Blackthorne. Now we have this double CD delight, disc one is an all new studio album whilst the second disc features re-recorded classics from his past bands and solo work.
Opener ‘Into The Night’ could have come off Alcatrazz’s ‘Disturbing The Peace’ album, especially as the driving riff sounds a little like ‘God Blessed Video’. Graham Bonnet still has his distinctive rough edged vocal and the songs suit his singing style down to the ground. Lots of good hard rockers on here like ‘Dead Man Walking’ and ‘Strangest Day’ and no real offbeat lyrical themes (the Blue Boar service stops in the US have been sung about in the past!), although ‘Everybody Has To Go There’ mentions Main Street in the lyric, when it is about a UK seaside town.
The album is a real band effort as all bar one song are credited to all the band members, who include fellow Alcatrazz member Jimmy Waldo on keyboards and drummer Mark Zonder (Warlord/Fates Warning).
The re-recorded classics, as the disc is called, covers from Rainbow up to Impetrelli. Special mention to guitarist Conrado Pesinato who has some big shoes to fill here replicating songs originally featuring amongst others Ritchie Blackmore, Steve Vai and Yngwie Malmsteen. The Rainbow classics sound good, particularly ‘Eyes Of The World’. Liking the slight guitar solo changes on the Alcatrazz classic ‘God Blessed Video’, although ‘Will You Be Home Tonight’ somehow lacks the passion of the original. Elsewhere his big solo hit ‘Night Games’ and MSG’s ‘Assault Attack’ are other highlights.
Good to have Graham Bonnet back releasing new songs and these songs definitely hark back to his 80′s hard rock days of Alcatrazz. Fans of that band and hard rock in general will enjoy this one. ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
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