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SERPENTINE A Touch Of Heaven AOR Heaven (2010)


Serpentine formed back in 2007 featuring Gareth David Noon (keyboards), Chris Gould (guitar) and Gareth Van Stone (bass) and the vocals were originally handled by US singer Greg Flores but logistical issues arose. Enter stage left one Tony Mills (Shy/TNT), who joins guitarist John Clews and drummer Charlie Skeggs to round off the line-up.

As the main songwriter is keyboards player Gareth David Noon this album is awash with keys which ticks all the boxes in my book. The title track opens with lush keyboards and then the guitars kick in for a monster of melodic hard rock. Next up the single 'Whatever Heartache', again plenty of keys/guitar interplay and this one brings in some big harmony vocals, brings to mind Journey and 80's Survivor.

Mills is on fine vocal form and for those who may not be a fan of his higher register singing he has adapted his vocal style for this album, being more restrained although losing none of his power.

Check out the ballad 'For The Love Of It All' for proof. 'We Belong' (touch of one of Tony Mills's other bands Shy on this one) and 'Lonely Nights' (another single if ever there was one) both hit the spot as well.

A very strong set of songs and a very enjoyable album. Hopefully Serpentine will play some live shows and this band prove you can produce modern sounding AOR/melodic rock without sounding like your sound is stuck in the 80's.


Review by Jason Ritchie

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***** 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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