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Debbie Ray: Slave To The System
Debbie Ray - Slave To The System CD Album Review

Debbie Ray: Slave To The System

Melodic Hard Rock/Metal
5.0/5.0

I could cut to the chase and tell you to buy Debbie Ray's new album Slave To The System, and I think you'd be happy with it. But some explanation and investigation of the band and this new album is necessary. Like, where did they come up with the band name? Some band member's ex-girlfriend? Formed back in 2005, Debbie Ray has had something of a rocky history, notably with personnel problems and inconsistent output. They released one album in 2009, Artificial Misery, and then an EP in 2012 Rock N Roll Widow, before disbanding shortly thereafter for a hiatus. Now Debbie Ray is back as a three piece, with original members Reine Heyer (v,g), Andreas Heleander (g) and H-Can (d), to deliver their long-awaited second album Slave To The System.

Debbie Ray Band Photo

Debbie Ray

Curiously, the label's one sheet describes Debbie Ray as a modern hard rock band. I don't think so. The Debbie Ray sound is straight out Eighties melodic hard rock with a metal edge. You can hear everything from Bon Jovi to Poison, Motley Crue to Guns N Rose, to more recent bands like Backyard Babies and Crazy Lixx. Moreover, listening to the arena rockers Too Late To Pray, Made To Cry, and Sorry, Debbie Ray injects some catchy and classy AOR accessibility.

But mostly the album rocks with catchy melodic hard rock tunes. You get more edgier metal songs with American Nightmare, Promises, Slave To The System, and Find Myself, all charged with brisk sharp riffs and often a bristling pace. Yet while heavy, like all the songs here, all of them turn on a strong rock groove that surfaces always. The rock rhythm and groove rises easily, and with great accessibility, within Gotta Get It Right and All You Need Is Rock N Roll. A true ballad comes at the end with the acoustic driven Living Without You. Also, of significance within all the songs is an abundance of melody and harmony, both in the guitar lines and vocal arrangements. And Reine Heyer has a great vocal presence, a clean, strong, and melodic voice. Also, throughout the entire album, the lead guitar solos are abundant and killer. Honestly, with Slave To The System Debbie Ray has delivered the perfect melodic hard rock storm, offering catchy tunes with memorable melodies and refrains, then twisting them with some metal edge and AOR accessibility. Sweet, and easily recommended.



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The Bottom Line

With Slave To The System Debbie Ray has delivered the perfect melodic hard rock storm, offering catchy tunes with memorable melodies and refrains, then twisting them with some metal edge and AOR accessibility. Sweet, and easily recommended.

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