Back in 2015, Frontiers Records released the news that they had signed a new exciting band called Resurrection Kings. The name didn’t ring any bells but the musicians involved sure did. Formed by guitarist Craig Goldy (Dio, Giuffria, Dream Child) and singer Chas West (Bonham), a new name to me, the guys recruited drummer Vinny Appice (Dio, Black Sabbath, WW III) and bassist Sean McNabb (Quiet Riot, Dokken, Great White, House Of Lords, Lynch Mob) and went to work. Under the supervision of Alessandro Del Vecchio who produced the album and also wrote or co-wrote most of the songs. Their self-titled debut album showed up in 2016 and my expectations were really high.
However, the album didn’t really live up to my hopes. It wasn’t bad but it contained a few fillers too many and with the members only contributing songs to less than half the album, it felt more a project than a band – a bummer as I though this would be some kind of a new start for Goldy and Appice. I’m not sure if the band did any touring – or any gigs at all for that matter but there wasn’t much talk of this lot after the album was released. Now, five years later it was decided that a new album was in order, this time as a trio without McNabb with Del Vecchio taking on bass and keyboard parts – and he took hold of production and co-writing duties this time as well.
The album’s leading – and only so far – single and titular song opens the album – and it sounds pretty much as I had expected. Dio’s 1987 Dream Evil album comes to mind style-wise and the sound lies somewhere in the gap between the 70’s and 80’s with a slight Rainbow twitch to co with it. The rhythms are fat and bouncy and the beat is uptempo on a beefy ground. A direct chorus makes the song hold some memorability and yes, it’s a good song without flooring me. The following ”World’s On Fire” is fast-tracked and brings some metal-vibes over the 70’s laden structure. It’s an ok song but it fails to bring on those melodies that makes the song linger – and the chorus really could be stronger. I’ll file this under ”Filler”, I’m afraid.
Going into early 80’s Classic Rock mode, ”Tears” throws in a whole lot of Rainbow influences from that band’s 80’s era, just before they went AOR on us. The bluesy twist takes the song into a more earthy structure and so does the solid drum-beat and the crunchy guitars but that being said, the song never really takes off – much because the chorus is pale. Driven and upbeat, the straight forward hard-rocker ”Fight Against Our Pride” goes for a more in-your-face and a bigger live-feel. It’s edgy yet melodic and for the first time we get a really infectious hook in the chorus which lifts the tune to another level. Best one so far.
”Angry Demons” is slower and heavier and sports a Led Zeppelin-esque feel in both riff and rhythm, quite bleak and blended with some more Rainbow-isms. The orchestrated keyboards gives the tune a bombastic outlook and the gritty guitars throws some edge into the mix. Also the refrain is really strong and hits like a ton of bricks. Not hit-searching, just effective and memorable. Very good. ”Savior Of Souls” goes directly for a more Melodic Rock laden vibe with smoother melodies and a bigger throwback to the mid 80’s even though the 70’s is lurking in the backwater. The chorus is more chart-friendly as well but that only does the song good as it catches on right from go. Good one.
When ”Don’t Blame Our Love” shows up it’s ballad time – and I guess the title gives that away. It’s upbeat and sneaks around the edges of Pomp Rock – piano and orchestration takes the song into that direction. The style is the early to mid 1980’s and it mixes Journey with late 80’s Whitesnake more than the Classic Rock vibes of the rest of the album. I must say I really dig this bombastic power ballad in a large soundscape but it also feels a bit out of place compared to the previous songs style-wise, like it was meant for something else to begin with. The catchy and full-of-hooks chorus is really strong which makes me wonder why this isn’t a video-single yet.
The slow, dark and somewhat gloomy ”Is This The End” takes on a heavier grit with a clear Black Sabbath influence in the beginning but soon takes up the speed and goes for a more direct and raunchy Hard Rock vibe in a faster pace. It’s still heavy and darkening and at times it goes off like a wounded steamroller but how much I dig that action, the melodies aren’t strong enough and the refrain is forgettable which makes the song fades into oblivion quite fast. ”Troubled Soul” holds a chunky groove and with its Classic Rock structure and blues-rock inserts, the song rolls into an early Whitesnake or a Coverdale fronted Deep Purple corner. The melody-lines and chorus, however, is more in the vein of 80’s Hard Rock. A decent track.
The rhythmic rocker ”Set Me On Fire” is clearly 70’s based with a bit of a Badlands touch but it also takes on a late 80’s American Arena Rock vibe – and you know what, the Classic Rock and the Sunset Strip twists really manages to blend brilliantly. It’s groovy, a bit pop-oriented, beefy and smooth – and the refrain is just stellar. Very good. Closing track ”Calling All Angels” is another one that’s good but a bit out of place. It’s an upbeat, straight ahead rocker but the big pop-vibes makes it more of a Melodic Rock number than a Hard Rock one. I hear Rainbow here as well but we’re talking 80’s Joe Lynn Turner era here, not Dio. It’s slicker and with more keyboards inserted and the pop-hooks are everywhere making it a damn catchy affair. Yeah, I like it.
To sum it up, this album suffers from the same project-not-band issues that the debut did which makes me wonder as I don’t have the credits, if this album was, just like debut, written mostly by outside writers. Why? Well, much because spontaneously it doesn’t feel like this is the kind of songs these guys would write themselves and together with the slick production the record sound more Frontiers project than a real-band effort. While there are some really good songs here and the musicians are all stellar with a powerhouse David Reece meets David Coverdale vocalist in Chas West, the end result is underwhelming in many parts. I wonder what kind of album we would get if the guys decided to take matters in their own hands and create album from scratch all by themselves without any outside involvement.