Former Ten keyboard player Ged Rylands returns with his Rage Of Angels project, The Devil's New Tricks, once more on the Escape Music label. It's also the case of that old saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
In 2013, of the first album, I wrote that, Dreamworld, "... is simply solid, engaging and entertaining, melodic hard rock with shot of metal edge in an accessible AOR style wrapper and propelled by a massive amount of lead guitar." That's basically the necessary summary for this album. Yet I things must be mentioned.
First, Rylands has settled on a single lead singer, at least for this album, in Rob Moratti Lead vocals (Final Frontiers, and ex-Saga). Lead guitar work comes from a new trio of players: the retuning Neil Fraser (ex Ten), Chris Green (Tyketto and Rubicon Cross), and Martin Kronlund (Gypsy Rose). Rylands adds rhythm guitar. As to those guitars, as before this album is a riff monster and filled with lead guitar soloing that will leave guitar geeks drooling.
All that seems rather interesting to me since Rylands's first claim to fame came from playing keyboards. Frankly, across this album, you'll barely notice the synths. They seem more for atmosphere and filler. The possible exception is the beginning of Strangers In The Night, very brief. Also at the start and finish of the ballad Long Days Without You that closes the album. It's also the quietest song here, as everything else is that aforementioned blur of melodic hard rock and melodic metal.
As for the songs, you've got some pretty fierce melodic heavy metal with the first song, Rage Of Angels. But after this, you find Rylands weaving that AOR rock groove into the heavy metal as with All You Own Way, In And Out Love, and I Feel It In My Heart, by example. Another song, The Devil's New Tricks has a familiar sound. It seems to have a similar melody, rhythm, and groove as 10cc's The Things We Do For. Maybe it's just me. One thing that I did notice about the songs is that they're long, all of them clocking in at five minutes or better. For many, like Rage Of Angels or Strangers In The Night for example, I didn't seem necessary.
Nevertheless, to repeat myself, once more, Rage Of Angel's The Devil's New Tricks is solid, engaging and entertaining, melodic metal with a hard rock groove in an accessible AOR wrapper and propelled by a massive amount of lead guitar.
Rage Of Angel's The Devil's New Tricks is solid, engaging and entertaining, melodic metal with a hard rock groove in an accessible AOR wrapper and propelled by a massive amount of lead guitar.
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