Released: 2005, AFM Records/Sound Pollution
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Rob Rock’s solo debut, RAGE OF CREATION, was released in 2000. garnering rave reviews from the press. After years of touring, a follow-up, EYES OF ETERNITY, would be released in 2003. This album spawned an endless amount of touring as well, highlights of that tour being the Bang Your Head festival in Germany in 2003, and a tour through Japan during 2004. Besides these solo albums, Rob has lent his voice to the metal opera Avantasia, as well as Impellitterri, Driver, Angelica, and Axel Rudi Pell.
For this third album, Rob has signed with AFM Records; and, like previous outings, has co-written the material with Roy Z (Judas Priest, Bruce Dickinson, Rob Halford), who also produced. The album was mixed in Denmark with Jacob Hansen, which—according to Rob—gave the record “a fat and powerful sound.”
The production, to me, sounds fairly standard—nothing out of the ordinary. It is heavy, yet melodic in certain places, the focus being on Rob’s vocals and the heavy guitar play.
Rob’s music sounds like traditional heavy metal combined with modern Power Metal, with some more melodic hard rock blended in. There are both up-tempo “power” ballads, and pure ballads, here as well.
On the promo copy I received from AFM Records they have messed it all up as usual. First we have 2 songs that the copy opens with called “Slayer of souls” and “Calling angels” which are fully featured. Then we have the other 10 songs that features the already mentioned songs once again, and as always have the label cut down the tracks with about 20-30 seconds a thing that only contributes to make the reviewing harder ‘cause I can’t hear the whole songs. And if that’s not enough are the 10th song, “Move on”, missing on my copy and I can’t see the point of sending out promo’s where the songs are missing.
This material is fairly standard, with the exception of the two opening tracks. The only truly unnecessary song is the ballad, “I’ll Be Waiting For You,” which is mediocre, and nothing more. Some of the songs have a tendency of blending together in the listener’s mind, because they sound so much alike; thus, my lasting impression of the material is that it has its ups and downs. Rob has a very powerful voice, with a wide vocal range that truly impresses. His fellow musicians are enormously skilled, and should have lifted this material over average.
I am undecided as to what to think of this album: On one hand, the record includes skilled musicians, an excellent singer, and stunning cover art by Derek Gores (Kamelot, Axxis, Edguy etc); on the other hand, this is merely average material, with few standouts, combined with a mediocre production.
This is an album for the fans; however, I think he will gain many more followers after the upcoming Flying Aces Tour through Europe (with label mates Masterplan, Circle II Circle and Pure Inc.). He also stopped by the Sweden Rock Festival this June to do a show.
Killer tracks: “Slayer Of Souls”, “Calling Angels” and “Holy Hell.”