Reviewed: August 2000
Released: 2000, Frontiers Records
I will give you fair warning. This review is another in the melodic metal vein. Think of a less progressive Royal Hunt crossed with some latter day Axel Rudi Pell and you have Fair Warning. Born from the ashes of Zeno (self named band of ex Scorpions axe man Uli Jon Roth’s brother) 4 is the fourth studio album from Fair Warning who have been releasing CDs since 1992. The lineup consists of vocalist Tommy Heart and bass player Ule. W. Ritgen (the Zeno connection) and guitarists Andy Malacek and Helge Engelke. The drum stool is filled on this CD by Philippe Candas. This disc is 13 songs of hard rock. What can I say? Its not heavy but its not cheesy glammy type junk. Just some melodic tunes from a group of obviously talented musicians.
“Heart on the Run” kicks off the CD with a good up tempo tune. This is the first single and contains some great guitar solos. “Through The Fire” is a bluesy riff that has a lot of keyboard backing. Now, here come the ballads. I didn’t count them but I know there are a few on here. “Break Free” is one of those sweeping majestic Axel Rudi Pell type ballads with a sing along chorus and great guitar playing. The band kicks it up with “I Fight”, a great foot stomper and one of the highlights of the disc. Other stand out tracks include the rockin “Find My Way” , the slightly progressive “Night Falls” and the epic “For the Young”. This CD is a good collection of songs with a great production by the band themselves.
Tommy Heart is one great vocalist. He is up there with the likes of John West or Johnny Gioeli. The rest of the band is pretty impressive musicianship wise which is one of the reasons that I couldn’t give this CD a higher rating. It’s a good release but Fair Warning play it a little too safe. I get the feeling on many of the songs that they want to break out into a blistering guitar solo or a prolonged keyboard guitar duel. It just never happens. They have that progressive metal technicality bubbling underneath the surface and very rarely bring it too this release. If you are searching for some great hard rock then run out now and get this CD, but if you like things a bit heavier then put “4” a little farther down your list.
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