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MICHAEL RIESENBECK ‘Shouting Silence’ Perris Records (2004)

Guitarist Michael Riesenbeck (who also handles bass/keys/drums) has assembled a stellar cast including vocalists Kimo Blom (Urban Tale) and Tony O’Hara (The Sweet/Praying Mantis) plus Jeff Pilson (ex-Dokken) and Phil Vincent.

It’s an album of very catchy melodic rock in the vein of Giant, Y&T and Bonfire. Opener ‘Hold On Me’ is a blissful melodic rocker, distinctly 80’s but so what? ‘Freedom Call’ is a September 11th song that mixes spoken word with a very Ken Tamplin style arrangement, especially in the vocals. A hard subject to tackle musically (Bonfire did the awfully twee ‘We’re All American’) but handled sensitively enough here without descending into macho chest beating. Only strange thing is a keyboard riff that is from Kansas’ ‘Carry On My Wayward Son’!

‘Countdown to Glory’ could easily be off an album by Christian rockers Idle Cure (whatever happened to them?) and the lyric has heavy religious undertones. Classic slice of melodic rock and a tasty keyboard riff in the mix as well. There are instrumental workouts on here as well which are high quality as you’d expect.

Top notch, crystal clear production adds to the overall enjoyment of the CD and this is definitely the best album I’ve heard on the Perris label. Riesenbeck is also no slouch on the guitar and similar to Giant’s Dan Huff at times. Songs that will stay in your head for a long time and an album that stands repeated plays. Worth the effort of tracking down...

Label website


Review by Jason Ritchie

***** 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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