Reviewed: November 2003
Released: 2003, Frontiers Records/ Distribution Fusion III
Seems like every time I pop into the Metal Rules office I come away with a pile of CDs to review. This wouldn’t be so bad except for the fact that I usually have a pile of discs on my own desk that need attention. I grabbed a bunch of CDs but this one especially caught my attention so I took it. For those of you who don’t know, Mark Boals is the vocalist on the classic Yngwie Malmsteen release TRILOGY. Boals has also been the voice on numerous other releases including THE ORACLE (2001) and DREAMTOWER (2002) by Ring of Fire, SOMETHING WICKED COMES (1993) by Billionaire Boys Club, WAR TO END ALL WARS (2000) and ALCHEMY (1999) by Yngwie J. Malmsteen’s Rising Force along with 2 solo albums: IGNITION (1998) and RING OF FIRE (2000). Boals has gathered some of his friends to play on this disc and luckily they just happen to be some of the greatest musicians on the scene today. Among others there are appearances by Tony MacAlpine and Jeff Kollman on guitar, Vinny Appice on drums and Erik Norlander on keyboards.
Boals has outdone himself with EDGE OF THE WORLD. Boals’ debut solo CD IGNITION was much more hard rock in flavour. The guitars for that disc were contributed by Doug Aldrich (ex-Lion, Dio, Whitesnake). For RING OF FIRE Boals went in a more neoclassical direction yet added some progressive elements to the music. For EDGE OF THE WORLD we see another direction shift as Boals brings together the best parts of his pervious solo releases and mixes them up with the varied talents of his guest musicians to create a sound that suits his powerful voice to a T. Tracks like “World on Fire”, “Fly” and the heavy and plodding “Between Two Mirrors” bring in the progressive influence that pervaded Boals second solo release RING OF FIRE. The hard rock side of Mark Boals shines thorough on one of the better tracks on the CD called “The Criminal”. This is a very cool groovy rock song written by Boals and performed by Boals, Neil Citron: guitars and Virgil Donati: drums. The song that is the most interesting on EDGE OF THE WORLD is “Up To You’. Written by Neil Citron, this song is so different from everything else on this release because of its subdued guitar lines yet its Led Zepplin feel allows Boals to add an emotional quality to his voice that leaves no doubt that he is one of the best vocalists in metal.
Mark Boals shows his versatility on EDGE OF THE WORLD as not only did he provide all the vocals he also played rhythm guitar on a number of tracks, bass on all the tracks and produced the whole thing. He has also surrounded himself with some great musicians with Erik Nolander being a tremendous addition as not only does he add some excellent keyboard work, he also mixed and mastered EDGE OF THE WORLD. Being a fan of Mark Boals I have to say that EDGE OF THE WORLD is his strongest solo release to date.
No Videos Available