Words: Craig Hartranft
Okay. Let's be honest. Little is known about the new band Edge Of The Blade. The band includes Alan Kelly (Shy) on drums, John Francis (After Hours) on vocals and Andrew Chick on guitars and keyboards, and also engineering and production. Don't know how they got together, what they had in mind for their music, or its direction. I don't even have a band picture or video to share. You're just going to have to trust my observations and deductions. Believe me or not.
I'm guessing there's nothing surprising about their band name being also a Journey song, from the Frontiers album. After several spins, I might even say that Edge Of The Blade sounds like a modern Journey, if that Journey chose to pick up some vibes from Nineties grunge and post grunge. They sound like a slightly more d-tuned Journey, and Francis certainly has some Steve Perry timbre in his voice. Mostly, he sounds like a husky, sometimes raspy, Perry, yet still singing with melody and stability. After these things, the fundamental foundation of Edge Of The Blade's music is classic melodic hard rock and metal from the Eighties. They probably lean somewhat towards the latter thanks to Chick's sharp riffage and the relatively heavy bottom end. Actually the riffs sound thick as if the chord structure was duplicated and layered over itself. Putting these things together, there is definitely a singularity of sound for Edge Of The Blade. The songs may differ in arrangement, but they do have a similar sound or tone throughout this album.
Largely then, most songs are essentially metal rockers, kicking out the jams with groove and edge. Some of the best include Vital Signs, Everything I Own, and especially Mr. Hell, likely the most metal song here. The Journey vibe came through, at least for me, within Believer as the melody had a motif similar to Only The Lonely. Some of that thick, d-tuned, ambience come through on River Runs Red and Down On My Knees, two songs that blur the line between ballad and anthem.
My conclusion, then? I'm not sure I have one. I liked the album, even generally liked the Edge Of The Blade sound. But nothing really popped or stood out for me. That isn't a game changer, as you may feel differently if you heard some songs. Unfortunately, I can't share any with you.
Edge Of The Blade sounds something like a 21st century d-tuned Journey, yet still having a foundation of metal-edged classic melodic hard rock.
Formed 23 years ago, Finland's Excalion has had a turbulent musical career. Before releasing a trio of albums between 2005 and 2010, they had personnel changes. Currently, only the drummer and keyboard ... [ Read More ]