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Charing Cross: We Are ...
Melodic Hard Rock/Metal
Rating: 3.5/5.0

Charing Cross is not from London, but rather Switzerland. If your're thinking Gotthard or Shakra here, you're on the wrong peak in the Alps. Charing Cross is not yet the caliber of the former nor as heavy as the latter can be at times. 'We Are ...' is basically straight up melodic heavy metal with a few doses of melodic hard rock thrown in for good measure. The strength of the band depends on two things: a steady rhythm section and an excellent twin guitar attack from Pascal Zwyssig and Andy Dormann. The second characteristic makes this average, often derivative, work very enjoyable. If there is a third notable characteristic it's in their vocal arrangements. The band works well together on songs like 'Ain't Got No Time' and 'Burn The Sun,' two of the better songs on the album. Looking specifically at the lead vocals, Peter Hochull sounds like a blend of Bruce Dickinson and Tobi Sammet while straining more significantly than they might on any given song. Mr. Hochull does better when he's not trying to reach the stratosphere like on the ballad, 'Long Time Ago.'

As for the better tracks, the aforementioned 'Ain't Got No Time' (melodic hard rock) and 'Burn The Sun' (melodic metal) are two standouts. Another is the energetic and rowdy melodic hard rocker, 'Kick Ass Rock And Roll.' A slight nod should be given to 'Voices' which at times can remind of either Iron Maiden or Edguy. Finally, 'Palace of Fate' is a very strong melodic metal cut with good progression and more terrific fret work.

Generally, 'We Are ...' by Charing Cross is interesting, but not earthshaking. Again, the best part is the phenomenal lead guitar work. One of their songs best summarizes this review, 'Can't Have It All.'

In Short

Switzerland's Charing Cross delivers a mixture of energetic melodic hard rock and metal. Except for the excellent twin guitar work, this is generally, an ordinary accomplishment in either classification.

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