AOR Heaven [Release date 25.09.20]
British melodic rock band Trishula is the brainchild of guitarist Neil Fraser (Rage Of Angels, Ten), accompanied by vocalist Jason Morgan. This is album number two, hot on the heels of last year’s very enjoyable ‘Scared to Breathe’. Magnum’s Rick Benton takes up keyboard duties on ‘Time Waits For No Man’ as he did on the debut album. Two new names join for the second album, Neil Ogden (Demon) on drums and Dan Clark (Rebecca Downes) on bass.
From the off ‘How It’s Supposed To Be’ highlights what a fine vocalist Jason Morgan – impressive throughout and he really hits those high notes with aplomb. ‘I Want It All’ is a bouncy melodic hard rocker, as is ‘Hear No Evil’ with its instant chorus and upbeat tempo.
‘Make Your Mind Up (Take Your Time)’ has a hint of ELO about it, especially in the vocal harmonies. Nice keyboards work from Rick Benton on this one. Oh, and Mr Morgan hits those high notes again!
For something totally different ‘I Just Might’ has a gospel backing melded to a hard rocking riff and big chorus. The ballad ‘Every Time We Touch’ rounds the album off in fine style. The keys/arrangements on this one are ones to lose yourself in, wonderful listening.
Neil Fraser gets the guitars spot on, plenty of riffs to drive a song and on the solos, always refined and avoiding the solo taking over any one song.
Not quite up to the debut, however, with a little more time and a few more plays I am sure this will match it. Definitely worth investing in if you enjoy Brit based melodic hard rock with a top notch vocalist. ***1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
Neil Fraser answers a few questions about the new album and possible future live appearances…
Were you pleased with the reaction to Trishula’s debut album ‘Scared To Breathe’?
Yes, I think it had a reasonable reception, I guess it’s always a bit of an unknown quantity when you release a debut album, will it go well? Or will it bomb out?…but I think it got quite a bit of positive attention, which was obviously very pleasing.
On this new album, ‘Time Waits For No Man’, you have Magnum’s Rick Benton involved again, plus Demon’s Neil Ogden and Dan Clark (Rebecca Downes) join in this time. How did those two become involved?
Well I’ve been friends with Rick for many years and we played in bands together back in the day.
I’ve known Neil from a distance for many years too, we both live in pretty much the same area and years ago our bands played at the same shows. The reason Neil ended up playing on this new album was because he played on the two promo videos that we did for the debut album and I instantly decided to ask him if he wanted to play on the new album and luckily he said ‘yes’. He’s been an absolute dream to work with and he’s done an amazing job on the album too.
Dan was recommended by our producer Sheena Sear, Dan has also worked with Rick in the past, so he was recommended by both Sheena and Rick, when we heard his playing on the album, we were totally blown away and he’s a lovely guy too. We eventually all met up a couple of weeks ago whilst filming a new band video for the song ‘The Border’ taken from the new album and we all got on like a house on fire.
How did you first hear of/meet Jason Morgan? He has one heck of a vocal range, does that provide any challenges when writing songs or does it help allowing you to stretch the boundaries of the music more?
I toured with Jason in ‘Rage of Angels’ a few years ago. We toured England, Scotland, Ireland and Sweden together, so when it came to forming Trishula and picking a singer, my first choice has always been Jason. He’s a world class singer and we are the best of friends. Jason likes to use all of his vocal range and we both don’t want to write songs where the singer is singing at the top of his register on every single song, so luckily my songs give Jason the opportunity to use all of his vocal range and express himself however he wants to, he’s a dream to work with and I wouldn’t want any other singer to sing my songs.
What made you want to take up playing the guitar and who are the biggest influences on you?
I started playing guitar when I was nine years old. I can remember being about 4 or 5 years old and miming in front of the TV to bands playing on there, so as soon as I could get hold of a real guitar I started to play, it’s in my blood. I had various lessons to start with, then I started playing along to records by Hank Marvin and the Shadows, then I got into Ritchie Blackmore and learnt all his stuff, then I heard Gary Moore when I was about 16 years old and that changed everything for me. I’ve listened to a few other players over the years but Gary Moore has always been my most significant influence. These days I just listen to classical music as I don’t want to get too influenced by any one particular guitar player.
When do you think gigs will resume, as in a regular amount for people to attend each week, albeit socially distanced etc.
It’s hard to say, Trishula are booked to play a festival in March 2021, but who can say if it will actually take place? I would love to say that things will get back to normal in 2021, but in all honesty I think it might be 2022 before we see anything like normality in terms of live gigs.
Leading on from that, how do you think the live scene will be once it returns? Do you think we will see maybe less US and European bands touring for the foreseeable future, especially on the festival circuit/one-off shows, and in turn, perhaps UK acts will tour more?
Who knows?..I do think it’s going to be more difficult for US and European bands to tour and come over to the UK, not just as a result of the virus pandemic, but also as a result of BREXIT, so I think we’ll just have to see what happens, I definitely thinks it going to be a different world for all performing artists going forward.
How can people connect with Trishula?
Well, we have a Trishula Facebook page, there is a Neil Fraser website www.neilfraserguitarist.com where messages can be submitted etc and I’m always posting stuff to do with Trishula on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.
Message for your fans…
Thank you so much for all your interest and support that you’ve shown towards Trishula, we are all really looking forward to taking the band out live as soon as it’s possible to do so and we look forward to seeing you all and hopefully meeting you too.
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