Purple Pyramid/Cleopatra [Release date 31.03.17)
Perhaps best known for his stint in Blues Image, Mike Pinera was also for a time a member of seminal heavy metallers Iron Butterfly. Unsurprisingly, a version of the classic 'In A Gadda Da Vida' is included here although it should be stated that Pinera didn't play on the original.
This welcome solo release is aided by contributions from Journey's Jonathan Cain and Pat Travers who adds his bluesy guitar to the excellent 'Pay My Dues' and 'Butterfly Bleu'.
There's another outing for the Santana-esque 'Fantasy Of Love' which first appeared on Pinera's solo album in 1996 and 'Come Back' (from that same album) demonstrates that Pinera has never lost his touch. What a wonderful tune even though there are shades of Phil Collins' 'Another Day In Paradise' and Journey's 'Who's Crying Now'.
1978's 'Isla' yields that album's title track now augmented by strings and originally featuring Duane Hitchings on keyboards, perhaps best known for his time in Cactus and who also co-wrote 'Fantasy Of Love'.
As you would expect this is a superior melodic hard rock offering which invokes Pinera's past as much as his present. As such it will appeal to those who treasure the music that he's championed for nearly five decades. ****
Review by David Randall
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