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After making a name for himself on the European progressive metal scene, this is Englishman Ian Parry's first solo album in a decade.

'Visions' is his attempt to bridge contemporary power and progressive metal with more traditional classic rock, and the results are mixed.

Opener Innocent Minds is a cracking piece of symphonic rock, pitching to the Nightwish market with some female co-vocals, and equally impressive follow-up Anything So Easily is more straight ahead classic rock, reminding me of Gotthard, at least vocally.

But other than Lovin' a Stranger, the rest of the album tails off disappointingly with a series of mid-tempo, somewhat plodding songs, or worse - the trip-hop beats of Slip Away just didn't work for me.

Ian's throaty voice calls to mind Doogie White or a more melodic Biff Byford, but I'm afraid I found the lyrical sentiments of Smiley People and Visions painfully twee. In summary, a mixed bag that fails to live up to its early promise.


Review by Andy Nathan

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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