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RING OF FIRE ‘Dreamtower’ Frontiers FRCD142 (2003)

A melodic metal ‘supergroup’ of sorts as it features vocalist Mark Boals (ex-MALMSTEEN), guitar wizard Tony MacAlpine, drummer Virgil Donali (PLANET X), bass player Philip Bynoe (STEVE VAI) and keyboard player Vitalij Kuprij (ARTENSION). This the band’s second album, a follow-up to 2001’s ‘The Oracle’.

The album features straight-ahead melodic power metal with the added twist of Tony MacAlpine’s guitar runs. ‘My Deja-Vu’ opens the album and is very Malmsteen in style. Title track ‘Dreamtower’ contains some great harmonies and Kuprij’s keyboards run riot all over ‘The Pharaoh’s Curse’. ‘Blue Sky’ takes the power ballad route with Mark Boals vocals coming to the fore and the same goes for ‘Make Believe’. The European bonus track ‘Undone’ rocks big time with double bass drumming and crunching guitar.

Not a bad album at all with ‘Dreamtower’ being a personal highlight. Malmsteen fans will enjoy this album with MacAlpine’s guitar and Kuprij’s keyboards being highlights throughout the album. The quality of musicianship can’t be faulted at all.



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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