Album review: IAN PARRY’s ROCK EMPORIUM – Brute Force

Metal Mind [release date 14.07.21]

Singer/songwriter, Ian Parry has always been master of his own destiny, moving from project to project and label to label over the course of his 30 year career. He counts Hammerhead, Elegy, Ayreon and Vengeance as probably the best known of the marquee names he’s fronted. He’s very much a European, and on this, his second album with enterprising Polish label, Metalmind, he again rubs shoulders with international musicians like Patrick Rondat, Kris Gildenlow, Patrick Johanson, Allan Sorenson, Luca Sellito and many more.
That mix of input gives music a cosmopolitan sophistication that is impossible to define, or indeed, ignore.

It’s a lesser known name who makes the initial impact. Rising guitarman, Luca (Stamina) Sellito wrote and performed ‘Till The Day I Die’ with Parry. It’s more classic rock than metal, but sits comfortably in this high calibre company.

Much of the album is based on melody and harmony, with hints of neoclassical metal adorning the arrangements … guitars that bite and sting alongside pummeling rhythms. ‘Isolation’ is one of those tracks. It draws inspiration and influence from rock and metal, most notably from power metal’s hi speed bpms and Progrock’s shifting tempos.

The more conventional rock of ‘Fairytale’, an intensely dramatic ballad, woven around a memorable melody, is skillfully written and performed. Similarly, ‘Where Do We Go’, a mainly acoustic, lightly orchestrated ballad, more than confirm that Parry knows when to ramp up the power and when to show restraint.

Parry is of the metal pioneers’ generation of the last century, and is still going strong. Long may that continue. ***1/2

Review by Brian McGowan

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