Recent Reviews

September 2022

August 2022

July 2022

June 2022

May 2022

[ More Music Reviews ]


Restless Spirits: Second To None
Restless Spirits - Second To None Album Art

Restless Spirits: Second To None

Melodic Hard Rock/AOR
4.5/5.0

Three years ago Lords Of Black guitarist Tony Hernando introduced us to his new solo project, Restless Spirits, and their eponymous debut album. The album was a focus on his songwriting and significant guitar skills. He also recruited several artists to handle vocal duties. Restless Spirits turned out to be a fine album of AOR melodic hard rock.

Tony Hernando Click For Larger Image

Tony Hernando

With his second effort, Second To None, Hernando and album repeat his formula with the return of two singers, Kent Hilli (Perfect Plan) and Johnny Gioeli (Hardline) and the addition of two new vocalists. One is female vocalist Chez Kane whose solo album debuted in early 2021. Her sophomore effort, Powerzone arrives in October. The second guest is Renan Zonta from Brazilian heavy rock outfit, Electric Mob.

With this context in mind, I can make a few observations. As with the first album, Hernando's songwriting is spot on terrific, his guitar solos amazing. For the former, he has an excellent, natural gift for AOR melodic hard rock. There's simply not bad song here. To the latter, Hernando should be recognized as one the finest rock and metal guitarist of this generation. Second, as with most albums that have multiple vocalist, this can have mixed result. The most obvious downside is the lack of consistency to the sound of the songs. For some listeners, sometimes myself, this throws them off. Another is when the song is not written to the singers vocal style. Oops. That can be a huge thing.

On the positive side is the reverse of the aforementioned. With various singers, you get an added, sometimes different, tone or texture to a song. Like making a song more heavy or assertive. I found this with Johnny Gioeli's edgy forcefulness on Nothin' Dirty Here or Too Many. Alternatively, Kent Hilli brings his strong melodic AOR voice to Dirty Money and I Need A Lil' White Lie (a personal favorite). With Ms Kane you get that female vocal style that blends Lita Ford with Robin. She kicks out the jams with the same skill as the boys with Hey You and Dreams Of The Wild. But what carries the variety of singers is Hernando's exceptional songwriting, as it should. Then what singer wouldn't want to get on board. If anything, you should buy this album simply for his fantastic fret work.

So then, again most things considered with Second To None guitarist Tony Hernando returns with another satisfying album of his guitar-forward AOR melodic hard rock with four singers, two new, to help him along. Recommended. Get it.




CraigHartranft.net - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

The Take Away

With Second To None guitarist Tony Hernando returns with another satisfying album of his guitar-forward AOR melodic hard rock with four singers, two new, to help him along. Recommended. Get it.

Find A Review

Alphabetical Index

a b c d e f g h i j
k l m n o p q r s t
u v w x y z #
Album of the Week
Read the New Horizon: Gate Of The Gods Album Review

With origins in AOR melodic hard rock band H.E.A.T., vocalist Erik Gronwall and songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Jona Tee have partnered to create New Horizon, a new melodic power metal band ... [ Read More ]

August 2022
  • Users: 5,645
  • New Users: 4,922
  • Sessions: 11,532
  • Pageviews: 35,741
  • Source: Google Analytics