Released: 2005, Frontiers/Atenzia
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Terra Nova is a Dutch band that released their debut album LIVING IT UP in 1996; the music on the album was a perfect mix of 80’s melodic hardrock and melodic rock. The album did well in both Europe and Japan but the follow up album in 1997 did even better and got even better reviews. Terra Nova gained great success with both album which gave them the chance of to tour through Japan the following year. The band’s third album, MAKE MY DAY, came in 1999 and that album ended the history of the band. The reason of the split up had a lot to do with problems with their record label.
But now six years later the guys back with ESCAPE. Terra Nova is lead by two brothers Fred and Ron Hendrix who have been active in the business in different ways since the beginning of the 80’s. Fred is in charge of the lead vocals and Ron takes care of the keyboards, along with them they have Gesuino on guitar bass player Eric and the drummer Hans.
It sounds like the Hendrix brothers want it to be the mid-80’s right now because the music, which is melodic hardrock influenced by melodic rock, sounds like it’s taken straight from that era. The music is extremely radio-friendly and the brothers have put the main focus on lead vocals and keyboards.
Even the material, probably written by Fred and Ron, feels like it’s been written in the 80’s as well as the production. But where the lyric writer in this genre sticks to writing about love have Terra Nova done the opposite thing, thank god.
Most of the tracks are uptempo songs and in several songs it sounds like they have used strings but no strings are listed so it must be the keyboards. That is a BIG NO in my book as I think you should only stick to using the instruments you have available. The ballads are represented by “Heaven Knows”, “You Are The One” and “Yesterday and as You Can See there are only 3 ballads out of 12 songs, only a good thing.
Fred and Ron have done a good job with creating catchy choruses that everyone can sing a long with, overall the songs catchy and they stick in your head at once. Fred has done the production and he has done a pretty good job, the production sounds 80’s what more can I say.
Fred takes care of the vocals and he does it with honor, his voice suits this kind of music brilliantly and he manages to take the songs to another level. All of the musicians are doing OK especially Ron, he’s extremely skilled on keyboards and Gesuino have a varied guitar play that lifts the music.
I think that this is an album for every fan of Terra Nova or melodic hardrock personally I’m a bit hesitant to ESCAPE. On the positive side we have the fact that this is an album with skilled musicians that know how to deliver well-written music, a great singer and a stunning guitar player. The label have also put some money into the cover art-work and it looks pretty nice.
Then we have the negative things which are that I think this album contains an overdose of a little too melodic hardrock taken directly from the mid-80’s. When you know that the string parts are fake it sounds hideous and some of the lyrics you don’t know if you should take the lyrics seriously. What about titles like “Back In The 80’s”, “Long Live Rock’n’Roll” for example. The amount of songs is too much, they should have stopped at maybe 9-10 songs instead of 12.
But if you’re a fan of Terra Nova you might like this...
Killer tracks “War On War”, “You Are The One”, “Part Of The Game”, “Sole Survivor”.