AOR Heaven [Release date 28.08.20]
Vocalist Tony Mitchell fronted Kiss Of The Gypsy, who were signed to Atlantic back in early 90’s, since then he has performed with the likes of Rick Wakeman and Alice Cooper.
In 2018 he released his solo album, ‘Beggars Gold’, which was a very enjoyable melodic rock treat. Now in 2020, two years in the making, Mitchell releases ‘Church Of A Restless Soul’, an album that sees guest appearances from Danny Vaughn (Tyketto), Tim Manford (Dante Fox), Neil Ogden (Demon), Paul Hume (Demon, Lawless, Dirty White Boyz), Nigel Bailey (Bailey, 3 Lions, Dirty White Boyz), Shawn Charvette and Josh Tabbie Williams, both of Midnite City.
Mitchell commented “I wanted to throw the kitchen sink at this one: big hooks, huge riffs, anthemic vibes, something to get the blood flowing yet reel it in when needed.”
Well it is certainly job done, as the opening trio are some of the best melodic hard rock songs you will hear this year. The title track comes in with a church organ, before morphing into a gospel rocker. Such an uplifting melody and instant chorus, a song to add much needed cheer during these times.
Next up, ‘Living On The Run’ is a modern melodic rocker that could give the likes of H.E.A.T. a run for their money. The final song on the opening trio is ‘In & Out Of Love’ that has an OTT guitar intro. Not sure who played that one, but wow!
Don’t worry though as the quality keeps on coming as Danny Vaughn guests on ‘The Mighty Fall’, a song that wouldn’t look out of place on a Danny Vaughn solo outing. I was lucky enough to see Tony Mitchell support Danny Vaughn at Eleven in Stoke and thought then these two would complement each other well on a duet.
‘Electric’ has a more modern feel, plus a deliciously addictive stomping drum pattern. ‘I Believe In Angels’ shows off Mitchell’s flair on a ballad. He can go soothingly melodic when required, dropping his gruffer vocal style heard on the rockers. ‘Sacrifice’ later on in the album is another stirring ballad.
‘Killing Me To Love You’ with its heavy riff recalls Pretty Maids (now there would be a good future duet with Ronnie Atkins). A big rock number to keep the album flowing along nicely. Again the guitar solos are suitably OTT fitting the mood of the song nicely.
Without a doubt ‘The Church Of A Restless Soul’ matches ‘Beggars Gold’ and with further plays/time, could well eclipse it. A belting album of melodic rock and then some. ****
Reviews by Jason Ritchie
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