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Trophy, The: The Gift Of Life

Trophy, The: The Gift Of Life

Melodic Hard Rock
Rating: 3.5/5.0

The Trophy, the new musical venture of Human Fortress guitarist Todd Wolf, takes him down quite a different path from power metal. On his debut release 'The Gift Of Life' we find this fine composer venturing more towards melodic hard rock with good results. To pursue this new quest, Wolf collaborated with vocalist Michael Bormann, well known for his hard rock credentials from Bonfire, Jaded Heart and his own solo material.

The fundamental strengths of 'The Gift Of Life' rise from Wolf in song composition and from Bormann in his strong and passionate vocal performance. Regarding the latter, Bormann has never sounded his raspy best. He's particularly moving on the heavy, ballad-like 'Rescue Me.'

As for Wolf's contributions, though an accomplished guitarist, except for a few cuts, don't expect a whole lot of fret wizardry from him; it's solid, if only standard, hard rock flair. His arrangements, however, fare better in review as Wolf gives us pop melodic rock on 'Get The Cup,' straight fiery melodic hard rock on 'The Gift Of Life,' to more heavy melodic rock with a modern metal touch as on 'Liar.'

Yet, Wolf succeeds best when he takes all his components, instruments and style, and combines them for a formidable arrangement as on the compelling songs 'Rescue Me' and 'Can't Get You Out Of My Head.' Unfortunately, these may be best and only examples of this pattern. Wolf's compositions quickly slide into a muddy slough from 'Gloomy Days' to the end where all the songs have a predictable melodic heavy rock motif with a modern turn. The best possible exception to this quagmire is likely the aforementioned 'Liar.' However, with this said, these are still fine songs which display the skills of Wolf and company

Human Fortress guitarist and composer Todd Wolf's project The Trophy and debut release 'The Gift Of Life' is a solid and generally adequate disc of melodic hard rock. Only his creative compositions and the expert vocals of veteran Michael Bormann allow this work to succeed above some of it's inherent mediocrity and monotony.

In Short

Human Fortress guitarist and composer Todd Wolf's project The Trophy and debut release 'The Gift Of Life' is a solid and generally adequate disc of melodic hard rock. Only his creative compositions and the expert vocals of veteran Michael Bormann allow this work to succeed above some of it's inherent mediocrity and monotony.

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