Released: 2005, Frontiers Records/Atenzia Records
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Nikolo Kotzev, the Bulgarian bandleader, is a guitar virtuoso who released the debut Brazen Abbot album ten years ago called LIVE AND LEARN. A few albums have come since then and he has also released a rock opera called NOSTRADAMUS. In 2003 it was time for Nikolo to head to his musical home with Brazen Abbot. In that year came GUILTY AS SIN which brought the band out on tour with Joe Lynn Turner as lead singer. That tour was caught on tape as well as on album under the name A DECADE OF BRAZEN ABBOT which came last year. It was a tribute to celebrate the bands 10th anniversary. It was with that album I first heard this band on album and today I have MY RESURRECTION to review.
First of all, we can handle the members, many of them have come and gone especially when it comes to lead singers and for some reason Nikolo prefers to use different singers on each album. The remaining singers on this album are the Swedish Göran Edman, Joe Lynn Turner (who was also on a few albums), the newcomers are Tony Harnell from Norway and another Swede by the name of Eric Mårtensson. For the first time have Nikolo used a string orchestra, he’s engaged the whole Sofia String Orchestra with 31 people.
Brazen Abbot brings us a dose of retro 70’s hard rock and lies musically very close to Rainbow and Deep Purple. The only thing that separates the bands from each other is that Brazen Abbot has put in a few neo-classical metal parts along with hints of melodic hard rock. All of the guys on the album do a great job except for Eric. I don’t know where Nikolo found that guy but he ought to put him back where he found him at once. Nikolo has produced the album and the production brings the guitar and lead vocals to the front as well as Hammond organ, piano and keyboards. He has done a terrific production and he’s known for his work with Saxon, Molly Hatchet, Company of Snakes and Rose Tattoo.
Brazen Abbot invites us to take part in the 12 songs on MY RESURRECTION and it’s a lot of music, the album ends at 65 minutes. The album kicks off with some retro 70’s hard rock in “My Resurrection” where Joe Lynn Turner shows that he still has a lot to offer the listeners. More 70’s hard rock can be find in “Bad Madman”, “Godforsaken”, “Another Day Gone”, “Rage of Angels” and “Lost”. Then we have the ballads, the first is “Dreams” which is a slow ballad with a lot of pianos and strings that lie at the top of the mix together with JLT’s vocals. This is a very impressive song. “The Shadow” is yet another ballad and probably one of the weakest tracks on here because of lead singer Eric Mårtensson’s poor vocals. He’s way too weak with his voice, absolutely no vocal range, and he can’t take on any higher note whatsoever. “Shades of Grey” - another ballad - Göran shows how it should sound when a professional singer sings. He has such feeling in his voice that it’s stunning. It’s a long song, 6,30, and it closes the album. We can hear more of melodic hard rock in “Flyin Blind”, “More Than Money” and “Beggars Lane” which all are melodic hard rock tracks but with influences of neo-classical metal.
Even though I’m not a big fan of retro 70’s hard rock, I think that Brazen Abbot delivers a top-album. We have a great bunch of musicians, a varied and solid quality of the material, as well as experienced vocalists, and I can’t imagine any older fan of the band being disappointed when you hear this or if you’re into anyone of the greater vocalists like Tony, Joe, or Göran.