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Cats And Dogs
Released: 2003, Frontiers
I can’t believe that after ten releases, we at Metal-Rules.com have not reviewed a Talisman CD yet! I’m here to rectify that situation. Talisman is a melodic metal band with a long and illustrious (albeit slightly underground) career.
Founded back in 1990 by ex-Yngwie dude Marcel Jacob and the golden throated rock vocalist Jeff Scott Soto, the band had churned out a number of album keeping the flame of melodic metal burning brightly through the 90’s for the people who didn’t turn their backs on rock.
CATS AND DOGS with it’s quirky cover sees the band jumping to the Frontiers label, a natural fit. These hardy veterans of the melodic metal wars present a dozen tracks of smooth, easy listening music. Jacob is a bass monster and reminds me at times of Billy Sheehan, bringing a slight Mr. Big feel to these songs with amazing little flourishes of bass in the songs.
The attraction for me is Mr. Soto. I have followed his career as a fan for almost 20 years now. His unique warm yet rough voice are a perfect fit for these classic tunes. Be it a rawer delivery of the rocking ‘Outta My Way’ or the stirring emotion found on ‘Hell in Paradise’ Mr. Soto delivers the goods.
The rest of the bandare no slouches and they help drive these tunes along in a rocking fashion, but not over the top. The production is excellent, the sound is big and full and the pace, tine and tempo of the disc are all good. I felt the disc could have benefited from a few more balls out rockers in favour of a couple of the more mid-tempo power ballad type tunes. I’m not sure what holds this band back from global acclaim. Maybe the songs don’t have those big 80’s hooks in each chorus or maybe the younger crowd finds them too mellow, or maybe even the songs about sex and love are a touch cliché but for this old metal heart these songs do just fine.
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
10. Wherever, Whenever, Whatever
11. Lost in The Wasteland
12. Hell In Paradise
Jeff Scott Soto-vocals
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