Album review: PHIL CAMPBELL – Old Lions Still Roar

PHIL CAMPBELL - Old Lions Still Roar

Nuclear Blast [Release date 25.10.19]

Since the end of Motorhead drummer Mikkey Dee has found a home with the Scorpions and guitarist Phil Campbell has been forging ahead with his band the Bastard Sons. Now Campbell has decided to release a solo album and as you’d expect from a musician with many years in the music business, he can call on a large array of guest vocalists including Dee Snider, Rob Halford and Alice Cooper.

Opening with ‘Rocking Chair’, featuring Leon Stanford (The People The Poet) on vocals, you’re lulled into a false sense of security as this is a laid back, bluesy number. Lovely bit of playing by Campbell on this one. After that it is rock and metal to the fore, as Rob Halford rattles through ‘Straight Up’, whilst Orange Goblin’s Ben Ward adds to the Sabbath air on ‘Faith In Fire’.

One of the good things about this album is how the songs fit the vocalist, none more so than ‘Swing It’ which Alice Cooper has great fun with. A classy piece of 80’s influenced hard rock. Dee Snider puts in a show stopping performance on ‘These Old Boots’. Like Alice Cooper, Dee Snider seems to be growing old (dis)gracefully musically.

Good to hear former Skin and current Hand Of Dimes vocalist Nev MacDonald on the ballad ‘Left For Dead’. His voice has lost none of its power and melody. The album’s surprise lies on ‘Dead Roses’ which features Benji Webbe of Skindred, but not as you’d expect as he’s backed by a piano, harmony vocals and it shows another side to his singing.

The instrumental ‘Tears From A Glass Eye’ closes the album and Campbell is joined by fellow guitarist Joe Satriani. They play it melodically, none of that widdly widdly solos for these two esteemed chaps.

An album you can put on to lift the mood and enjoy again & again. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie





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