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Final Frontier
High Tension Wire
May 2005
Released: 2005, Frontiers Records/Atenzia Records
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

Rob and Mladen, the men who make up Final Frontier, have been friends for over 15 years and have written songs together for almost a decade. Both have been members of various projects - Rob has Moratti and a solo career, and Mladen is occupied with Von Groove, Triumph and 24K. They have always stayed in contact with each other and it was just a matter of time before they hooked up to create something. Finally after a decade of hard work and experience they have come together to form Final Frontier filled with great songs and melodies.

The newcomer in the band seems to be Lawrence (Sonic X). He has taken the band to a higher level and has given them just enough edge to complete the melodic sound experience that is Final Frontier. HIGH TENSION WIRE is the band's third album and is released on their new label Frontiers Records. Final Frontier doesn’t seem to be a full band, Mladen takes care of lead/rhythm guitars, bass and keyboards. The drummer Michael doesn’t seem to be a full member because in the bio it only says “with Michael”. The core seems to consists of Mladen and Rob who’s in charge of lead vocals, b-vox, and Lawrence on lead guitar. To me this looks like a project and not a band.

Rob’s voice fits extremely good to this kind of music and Mladen handles all of his tasks in an extraordinary way as well as Lawrence. This is melodic hard rock focused on guitar. Keyboards are used (of course) but gladly not too much and just as always in this genre we we have a few ballads. The lyrics aren’t any trend-breaker either, it seems mostly to be about love and if I read the bio correct, the lyrics are the lyrics written by Rob and Mladen. If I should draw musical similarities with other bands in the same genre it would be Journey or the solo albums with Steve Perry.

This promo copy contains 11 tracks, that includes one bonus track for Europe called “Let me be the one”. All of the material on the album has nice arrangments and is well structured with great harmonies. Some of the songs are very catchy and have the potential to become radio-hits. Mladen has done the production on the album, and he has done a great job. Some of the killer tracks worth mentioning are “High tension wire” and “Heart’s on fire” that are a few more melodic hard rock tracks where Mladen and Lawrence have the chance to show off. A few others are “Two different worlds”, “Hollywood drama”, “Something more than this”, “Who’s going to love you now” and “Listen to your heart” that lean more towards the melodic hard rock in mid-tempo. Lead vocals and guitar, along with keyboards, take the biggest space in the mix. Mladen must have been busy in these songs since he plays both keyboards and guitars.

HIGH TENSION WIRE is one of the more appealing albums so far from this label with much depending on the well written material, skilled musicians, amazing lead vocalist, and basically their feeling for music. Even if the love theme is quite boring, plus the strange looking cover that probably refers to the title, I can recommend it to all fans of melodic hard rock music. This is the perfect soundtrack for the spring that starts to come right here in Scandinavia at the moment.

Labels: and
Track Listing

High tension wire
Two different worlds
Angel of the lake
Beauty and the beast
Hearts on fire
Hollywood drama
Sunset at down
Something more than this
Who’s going to love you know
Listen to your heart
Let me be the one (bonus track)


Rob Moratti – lead vocals, b-vox
Lawrence Falcomer – lead guitar
Mladen – lead/rhythm guitar, bass, keyboards
Michael Shofton – drums

Other reviews

» High Tension Wire
by Anders Sandvall

» High Tension Wire
by Waspman

» Freelight
by Anders Sandvall

Next review: » Final Frontier - High Tension Wire
Previous review: » Final Frontier - Freelight

Final Frontier
High Tension Wire
June 2005
Released: 2005, Frontiers
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Waspman

Man, you just do not hear bands like this anymore. Combining the talents of Canadian vocalist Rob Moratti and countryman guitarist Mladen (of Von Groove fame), Final Frontier is essentially a paean to all of the bygone AOR rockers from years past. Featuring all of the sugary sweet melodies and fiery guitar solos that were the hallmark of the genre, HIGH TENSION WIRE pays tribute to bands like Journey, Styx, Foreigner, and the rest of their brethren.

More than simple copycatting though, Final Frontier comes armed with genuinely good songs. Right off the bat, the title track sinks its hooks deep into you, the catchy melodies and excellent vocals of Moratti combined with some wicked soloing by Mladen makes for an infectious tune that won’t leave you alone. Had a song like that been released back in 1985, it would have been a sure-fire hit. You’ll hear all of the expected highs and lows of the genre over the course of HIGH TENSION WIRE’s 46 minutes, and though you’ll hate yourself, you won’t be able to help but enjoy almost all of it. Yep, from the familiar Journey of “Two Different Worlds” through to the Extreme-ified balladry of “Let Me Be the One”, Final Frontier has crafted an impeccable slice of commercial hard rock.

Given the genre, there are missteps and cringe-worthy lyrics all over the place, and the album begins to lose steam after “Hollywood Drama”, but I’m still won over by the end. I feel somehow icky licking this in 2005, but damn it, I can’t help it. After all, this may be musical junk food, but everyone should enjoy a chocolate bar every now and then.
Track Listing

1. High Tension Wire
2. Two Different Worlds
3. Angel of the Lake
4. Beauty and the Beast
5. Hearts on Fire
6. Hollywood Drama
7. Sunset at Dawn
8. Something More Than This
9. Who’s Gonna Love You Now
10. Listen to Your Heart
11. Let Me Be the One


Rob Moratti: Lead and Background Vocals
Mladen: Lead and Rhythm Guitars, Bass, and Keyboards
Lawrence Falcomer: Lead Guitars
Michael Shotten: Drums



Other reviews

» High Tension Wire
by Anders Sandvall

» High Tension Wire
by Waspman

» Freelight
by Anders Sandvall

Next review: » Final Sign - Hold High The Flame
Previous review: » Final Frontier - Freelight

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