AFM Records [Release date 25.09.15]
21Octayne are back with their sophomore album, thoughtfully titled “2.0”, a mere 16 months after their superb debut “Into The Open”.
The line-up for “2.0” remains unchanged apart from the loss of bassist Andrew Lauer…so we still have powerhouse vocalist Hagen Grohe, ex-Axxis guitarist Marco Wriedt and current Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody drummer Alex Landenburg.
Once again the one band springs to mind throughout “2.0” is the mighty Alter Bridge. As with “Into The Open” that comparison is not a bad place for 21Octayne to start from…and this time they veer off more in unknown territories.
Opener Devil In Disguise is an up-tempo rocker that, to my ears, blends a little Van Halen into the mix. Great opener. Next up we have Take Me Back which is still failing to fully convince me…it just sounds a little disjointed as if the verse and chorus are from different songs…nice verses and bridge but loses something on the chorus.
When You Go is the rock radio friendly power ballad that has been turned into the first video featuring the ups and downs of a relationship via a couple of kids…it’s worth a watch. One word for this one…class. Love’s Just A Heartbeat Away throws a little blues into the blender…Hagen Grohe sings wonderfully here…and throughout the whole release…
The Circle has some real funky bass runs and a big sing-along chorus bringing a little Shinedown into the mix. Some odd lyrics for Date With Myself (German sense of humour maybe…) and Fly With Me is pure heavy Alter Bridge magic.
Closing epic Tale Of A Broken Child has it all…prog-like 10 minute running time (which feels like 4), Led Zeppelin acoustic moments, superb riffs from Marco Wriedt (check out 1:30…), time changes, bass solo, guitar solo, classical snippets, birds singing, whistling outro……overall it’s just a classic piece of storytelling wrapped up to perfection.
Worst thing about “2.0”…well it has to be the hideous artwork…doesn’t work at all for me…
If you like Alter Bridge, you’ll love this…if you like well-played melodic, modern hard rock, you’ll love this. This deserves to be huge. ****½
Review by Phil Berisford
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