Stay the course might best describe At Vance's ninth studio album, Facing Your Enemy. Guitarist Olaf Lenk and company deliver another disc of melodic metal, sometimes touching on the vigor of power metal, sometimes having the catchiness of melodic hard rock
From the gate you get two songs of basic power metal, Heaven Is Calling and the title track, yet both equally melodic. Then, beginning with Eyes of the Stranger through Tokyo you get that very accessible, very catchy, melodic metal. Or is it melodic hard rock with a metal edge. Either way Fear No Evil and Live & Learn are both fist pumping and toe tapping songs. Tokyo is a cover of a song by the obscure Eighties band of the same name; it's nicely done.
The ballads also blur the line between arena anthem and metal, especially Don't Dream and See Me Crying. The album rounds out with another, Things I Never Needed, something of some introspection. If you're put off by a significant number of slower tunes on an otherwise metal album, you find this the weak point of Facing Your Enemy. But I don't think so.
Ultimately, Facing Your Enemy is rather self-defining. This is where At Vance is at today, and has been for several albums, and it's a good place to be. Recommended.
Facing Your Enemy finds At Vance on course with very attractive and entertaining melodic heavy metal.
England's Seven had a bottle rocket-like existence between 1989 and 1990, spinning two singles in the latter year and performing with the likes of Richard Marx. Then they were gone. But some remembered them ... [ Read More ]