Released: 2006, Frontiers Records/Zink Music
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Shark Island is yet another reunited band that was originally founded with Richard Black on lead vocals and Spencer Sercombe on guitar back in 1979 under the name The Shark. They soon gained a reputation of being a mean live act in the Los Angeles live scene. A lot of different acts from Sunset Strip made it big the following years but The Shark didn’t. Their debut AFTER EGO came out in 1982, and in the middle of the 80’s the guys changed their name to Shark Island. After a few record releases, trouble with labels, and hard touring, the band were put to rest at the beginning of the 90’s.
It all kicked off when Robert Marshall at Manifest Music heard a few of the bands old demos and called up guitarist Spencer Sercomb. All of the original members besides Greg Ellis, now replaced by Glen Sobel, gathered in LA to re-record the old demos which took 9 months to do. The guys wrote 50-60 new songs before the band was put to rest; it’s those songs that are featured on the new album, but which songs are old or new I don’t know. Frontiers Records signed Shark Island and released their new album which contains old demos from an album that was never made. And, as almost always, Frontiers Records delivers an album by a melodic hardock/rock act.
The production sets the lead vocals and guitar in main focus on almost all of the 13 tracks. The album is really long, about 66 minutes, and that’s too long for me when it comes to this album. The material feels too shattered and pointy. It includes 5 ballads, which is too many, and they add nothing to the album at all. All of the musicians are skilled and talented, but unfortunately that’s not enough to help the pretty weak songs last all the way. The production is standard; one which we all have heard one too many times before. Richard Black lies too high in the mix and you can hardly hear the keyboards.
There are a few highlights though in “The Stranger”, “Go West”, “Down To the Ground”, “Heaven” and “Will To Power”. All of them are melodic hardrock/rock tunes. GATHERING OF THE FAITHFUL doesn’t leave any mark in either my mind or my stereo and it’s not likely that I’m ever gonna listen to it again.