Vocalist and songwriter Ian Parry has had a successful career as a hard rock and metal vocalist, notably with Elegy and his five Consortium Projects, but also with many other artists and bands, across some 25 years. Ten years ago, he cut a solo album, Visions, for Escape Music. Parry and the label reunite for his next project, Ian Parry's Rock Emporium and the debut album Society Of Friends.
As the band and album name suggest, this is a collaborative effort: Parry joined by friends and musicians from the UK and European theater. Rather than belabor you with a massive list of names, head over to the Rock Emporium Facebook page (link above) to see the same. It's rather impressive. The core of the band can also be seen by clicking the picture above.
As for Parry's musical approach for Society Of Friends, he reaches back to his roots and influences. The music within is basically classic, think Eighties, melodic hard rock with a significant metal edge, yet bound up in an AOR wrapper. By way of some analogy, after a spin or two, my first best observation was that Parry, the players, and the songs sound like Whitesnake without the significant blues element, although that comes through lightly at the start of Ministry Of Rock.
Mostly, this is heavy and hard hitting stuff, marked by bold, sharp, riffage, a deep bottom end, sometimes some near power metal speed, and blistering guitar solos. Of course, Parry remains in fine form with his melodic, yet forceful and bold vocal approach, with a slight timbre of raspiness.
Some the heaviest material comes with Start All Over Again, Stone Cold Fever, Ministry Of Rock, among others. Dialing things back slightly are Circles and Skin Deep where the musical current is trumped by Parry's vocal arrangement. Yet there is some real quiet in Most Unforgivable Thing, a true hard rock ballad, with lighter, softer, guitar.
Basically, what Society Of Friends demonstrates is Parry's natural and ongoing gifted songwriting skills and vocal talent. Then, when those two things are combined with a gaggle of equally talented musicians, the results become an album of entertaining and satisfying hard and heavy melodic rock. Expect more from this new project in the future. Recommended.
Basically, what Society Of Friends demonstrates is Parry's natural and ongoing gifted songwriting skills and vocal talent. Then, when those two things are combined with a gaggle of equally talented musicians, the results become an album of entertaining and satisfying hard and heavy melodic rock.
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