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City Of Lights: Before The Sun Sets
City Of Lights - Before The Sun Sets Album Art

City Of Lights: Before The Sun Sets

Melodic Hard Rock/AOR
4.5/5.0

City Of Lights is an example of collaboration in the Internet age during a worlwide pandemic. It's also a tale of a musician and songwriter in search of a vocalist to give a voice to his music and lyrics. City Of Lights unites (via Facebook) UK songwriter and guitarist Neil Austin with Greek vocalist Manos Fatsis (Odyssey Desperado/Hideaway). The band also includes the rhythm section from Degreed, Robin (bass) and Mats (drums) Eriksson, and guest musicians Nathan Doyle, Daniel Johansson (degreed), Christoffer Borg (Taste/ex-Art Nation), and Mike Kyriakou offering additional guitar solos. City Of Lights delivers their first studio album, Before The Sun Sets for Frontiers Music.

City Of Lights - Click For Larger Image

City Of Lights

The result of this multifaceted collaboration of musicians is some strong and entertaining melodic hard rock with some metal edge yet wrapped in AOR accessibility. Fatsis is a fine vocalist, somewhat assertive but always melodic and clean. Austin's songwriting turns upon strong song melody, vocal and guitar melody, big refrains and, my favorite, ripping guitar solos. This is self-evident at the start with Racing On The Redline and Heart's On Fire, but also later with Snake Eyes and Heat Of The Night. The AOR emphasis appears in the fine Dying Light that has a soft start, strong bass line, but rises to a heavy anthem. Similar is the title track, which closes the album, which starts mild only to grow with strength and groove to finish. A true ballad featuring a strong vocal arrangement in softer AOR context comes with How To Love. Back in the day, when AOR rock was king, bands would often include the expected "Japanese bonus track" or proverbial "chick" song. With City Of Lights you don't get the former, but you do get the latter, times two, with Emily and Joanna. All said, for a debut album, with Before The Sun Sets, City Of Lights' aim is true: this is fine and entertaining AOR melodic hard rock. Get it. Easily recommended.




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The Take Away

All said, for a debut album, with Before The Sun Sets, City Of Lights' aim is true: this is fine and entertaining AOR melodic hard rock. Get it. Easily recommended.

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