Released: 2003, Frontiers
I gushed about the second album, The Oracle in March of 2002 and here I go again! After missing a somewhat premature Double Live disc in late 2002, I’m back to sing the praises of Ring of Fire already the band’s fourth release! The musical chairs continue as now Bellas is out and Tony MacAlpine is in. Well, any way you slice it; it is win-win for the fans!
Another gorgeous Eric Phillipe cover meets our eyes and we get another pro packaging job, that is somewhat subdued. The art maintains the theme from the debut as well. However everything is included, lyrics, photos credits, notes and the Europeans get a bonus cut called ‘Undone’. Again we are treated to a sterling, flawless production courtesy of Boals himself. We are blessed with another 13 original compositions that are in the same signature style as the debut. The song-writing is fairly evenly divided by the keyboardist Vitalij Krupij and guitar-god Mr. Macalpine. Boals contributes the vocal melodies and lyrics. Why Yngwie ever let this man go is beyond my realm of comprehension.
Every song is a winner! With an amazing hook, you will be singing the opening track , ‘My Déjà Vu’ after just one listen, that’s how catchy the chorus is. The third cut, ‘The Pharaoh’s Curse’ is an epic piece about Egypt, a classic metal topic lyrically and atmospherically. Lyrically the band covers many cool topics, sci-fi, fantasy, the plight of the natives, the future, the past, lost lives and lost loves…all excellent. Even the power ballad is a nice twist on the ol’ broken-hearted theme.
Solos! Did I mention solos? MacAlpine is good at this stuff, he could do it in his sleep. A truer master! Krupij is no slouch either with excellent keyboard work throughout the entire album, particularly scintillating on ‘System Utopia’ I thought. Every member of this band is world-class and it shows. Another CD virtually guaranteed a spot in my top 10 this year. See what the fuss is all about at http://www.ringoffiremusic.com.