We start the new year with our first review, and it's a good one. American hard rock band Four Star Revival offers their second effort, The Underdog, a five song EP. This follows their 2014 release, Knights Of Revival. The band includes veteran musicians from the Ohio area: Jack Emrick (Life After Death) on vocals, Benny Bodine (WarMinister) on guitar, Ed Girard (House of Jason) on bass, and Paul Strausburg (World Gone Wrong) on drums.
For this review, I did a little research by reading reviews of Four Star Revival's previous release. Apparently, my fellow reviewers had varying descriptions of their musical style, from hard rock to heavy metal, from power metal to thrash metal. Perhaps it's best to say Four Star Revival is a hybrid or an amalgamation of musical themes that can be summed as hard and heavy rock. Or, for more elaboration, old school American metal informed by a classic hard rock grove. (Yeah, I know, There was no verb in that sentence.) What you will discover within their style is several things: strong melodic vocals, bold sharp riffs with burning solos, a defined bass line, and blistering drums, all wrapped in superb production.
As for the tunes, the songs Liar and Rumors Of War definitely lean more to heavy metal, yet with that rock groove simmering within. Broken dials things back somewhat, sounding more like a modern d-tuned anthem. The riffs still stay brisk, the rhythm section remains heavy, and guitar solo soars. Listening to The Garde Of Good And Evil, I can understand why some hear more power metal in Four Star Revival's sound. The pace is bracing to start, the riffs bold, before a slight breakdown in the middle. Then things fire right back up with rousing killer solo. With the title cut, again, some might suggest a power metal vibe. Yet with catchy hook of the combined guitar and bass lines, the vibrant melody, and clear vocal delivery, it sounds simply like a classic rock song, simply heavier and faster. All in all, The Underdog is solid stuff, entertaining and enjoyable American hard rock and heavy metal. Recommended.
As an aside, it should be mentioned that all four band members are Christians (I am as well), and their faith informs their songwriting. But this should by no means dissuade you from considering the profound merits of their talent and this EP.
All in all, Four Star Revival's The Underdog is solid stuff, entertaining and enjoyable American hard rock and heavy metal. Recommended.
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