Released: 2007, Metal Heaven/Border Music
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
This is Road to Ruin’s debut album and I have no idea whether it’s a band or a project that Lars Chriss (Lion’s Share) and Sampo Axelsson (Glenn Hughes, Lion’s Share) have formed. The songs for this album were created when the guys sat down to write stuff for Lion’s Share’s comeback album in 2005. They came up with a lot of ideas that they felt didn’t quite fit on a Lion’s Share album and Axelsson had the idea to record the songs under a different name. The idea with the new songs was to write stuff that had lot in common with Rainbow, Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. You could say that Road to Ruin is Chriss and Axelsson’s tribute to the old heroes.
When the songs were finished they asked Thomas Broman (Electric Boys, Glenn Hughes, John Norum, etc.) if he was interested in laying down the drums. He accepted their offer and then they found singer Matti Alfonzetti (Jagged Edge, Skintrade, etc.) and now the album is finally here.
Road to Ruin plays melodic hard rock influenced by 70’s and 80’s classic hard rock. To get a more classical feeling a la Deep Purple the band included keyboards and organs in the songs. Chriss’ guitar playing has a lot in common with the Black Sabbath harmonies, and it’s been a long time since I’ve heard Alfonzetti singing like this - in fact, it’s been a long time since I’ve heard him singing at all. He contributes passion and nerve to the music and his voice is as strong as ever. It’s fun to hear him singing something that really suits him so well.
As always whenever Chriss and Axelsson are involved, everything sounds edgy and raw. The material is bombastic and the musical arrangements are solid. It’s impossible to pick any favorite tracks; instead I choose the entire album as a single killer track. It’s fun to hear Chriss and Axelsson take on a different musical approach from Lion’s Share. They have managed to create another mind-blowing album and I really hope to hear lots more from Road to Ruin in the future. And dare I hope for a tour or at least a few shows?