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Cats and Dogs
October 2003
Released: 2003, Frontiers/Distribution Fusion III
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Rick

Former Yngwie Malmsteen vocal belter Jeff Scott is back together with his band Talisman and they have released their latest disc on Frontiers Records. Joining Soto is original Talisman member Marcel Jacob (Yngwie Malmsteen, Norum) along with long time members Fredrik Akesson: guitars and Jamie Borger: drums. Talisman released their first self titled CD in 1990 and followed that up with GENESIS in 1993, FIVE OUT OF FIVE: LIVE IN JAPAN (1994), HUMANIMAL (1994) and TRUTH (1998).

CATS AN DOGS is an interesting name for a release and the cover artwork for the disc is equally as interesting/strange depending on your feelings at the moment. A cat riding a dog on wheels is always an interesting sight but I don’t know if this cover ranks up there with the best ever. No matter how many times I hear Jeff Scott Soto I recall his memorable stint in Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force. His voice was powerful and instantly made me a sit up and take notice of his talent. On CATS AND DOGS Soto is in fine form. “Skin on Skin” opens the CD with a funky melodic tune that focuses on the fretboard work of Akesson. “Sorry” is an almost Journeyesque ballad while “Lost in the Wasteland” ups the heaviness factor and helps add a biting edge to the CD which is missing in many of today’s melodic metal bands. Highlights of the CD are the closer “Hell in Paradise” and “Outta My Way”. The tempo is jacked way up on the latter track as Soto delivers his best vocal performance on CATS AND DOGS yet leaves everyone with some space to stretch their musical wings.

Silly album name and cover aside, CATS AND DOGS is a surprisingly solid disc. I guess I shouldn’t have expected anything less from the veteran band. Talisman play melodic metal very long on the melody yet with the ability to heavy their sound up when the situation calls for it. Lets hope that it doesn’t take another 5 years for Talisman to lay music to plastic.
Track Listing

1: Skin On Skin
2: Break It Down
3: In Make Believe
4: Love Will Come Again
5: Outta My Way
6: Friends To Stranger
7: Sorry
8: Trapped
9: M.O.M.
10: Wherever, Whenever, Whatever
11: Lost In The Wasteland
12: Hell In Paradise



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