Here a quick update on some reviews that came to our attention:
To be released tomorrow, the simply titled "II" is indeed the second album from CRANSTON, the band formed three years go by vocalist / multi-instrumentalist Phil Vincent, his former band mate in D'Ercole drummer B.F. D'Ercole, and the legendary Paul Sabu on guitar.
What isn't 'simply' for sure is the material on offer here; a strong bunch of classic melodic hard rockers full of bounce and displaying the best Sabu's guitar work / songwriting in years.
While CranstoN first album was a good one, this second effort blow it out of the water on all aspects: all songs are good, arrangements & production better, and Sabu's guitar playing is on fire.
Paul Sabu's last solo album from some years ado resulted 'cold' in my humble opinion, then on CranstoN's self-titled debut his work was fine however with not much room to shine, but here the talented guitarist seems to have re-captured his essence delivering some truly awesome riffs and solos to boot.
CranstoN "II" has the 'good songs' you need to success - well written and catchy tunes - Vincent has proven his talents and skills over the years, but what really takes this CD to another level is Sabu's work.
His sweet riffs on the melodic rock tunes"Always on the Run", "What's it Gonna Take" or the AORish "Wrong Side of Town" bringing to mind Paul's early albums.
Nicely, "II" is not circumscribed to only one genre, and they suddenly drop a poppy melodious song worthy of massive attention in the form of "Wish I Had More Time" (with Sabu performing cool acoustics as well). Here, as happens on some songs on the CD, Vincent sings with a vocal tone reminiscent of Night Ranger's Keally Keagy which I like a lot and fits the material.
Then, the band change course to insight the hard rock intensity of the groovy "Throwin' Down", the Night Ranger circa mid-Nineties "Tables Turning", and the pretty killer closing number "Dead & Gone", a punchy cut again with a solid guitar work.
As said previously, while the first CranstoN album was good, I resulted pleasantly surprised with "II", a very good melodic hard rock album with an early '90s feeling.
I wasn't expecting this Sabu return to form but the man delivers some of his magic again, add to that better songs and a more polished production, and we have here a very solid new album from CranstoN.
German site MusikReviews have written a piece about the new D'Ercole album Made To Burn. Find the original here, and the Google English translation to follow:
The Dutch company Rock Company is developing rapidly into a northern European equivalent of Italian Frontiers Records. Here, too, more or less compelling albums from the field of tension AOR and Melodic Rock appear with (un-) beautiful regularity, although the quality never falls below a certain minimum level, but rarely provokes jubilation.
The American Damian D'ERCOLE - a small, because less virtuoso and bustling brother of people like David Chastain or Chris Impelliteri - and the busy solo artist or singer Phil Vincent do in the fifth joint attempt, nothing great unlike before, but "spoil "again for an hour with a strange mixture of ultra-conservative and gestelt" modern "fabric which reduces the overall impression latent.
Your fellow combatants, who already (and sometimes in conjunction with the duo themselves) in bands such as tragedy or Circular logic (which is now kool with the K, or how?) Have been doing solid groundwork, but a freestyle can the two main characters Do not offer from D'ERCOLE . Her songwriting remains just as pliant as on "The Art Of Self Destruction" of 2010 or the 2016er-predecessor "No Place Like Home" of the now available album.
The best sounds D'ERCOLE in up-tempo metal mode with in a positive sense slippery choruses ('Time To Walk Away', 'Lyin' To Yourself '), because never too shallow and useful catchy, without being too predictable. Opposite these are the acoustic flokati rug 'Out Of Time', the classic LA tail vibrator 'Get Undone' and the pounding cucumber 'Feel The Burn', whose negative image is exacerbated even by the slack alternative rock of 'Mistreated' ,
This low blow sounds like halfway to early Alice In Chains, while the semi-unplugged 'Open Your Eyes' and the organ-refined Arena Smasher 'Slow Motion' are the thumbs up.
CONCLUSION: Typical United States metal with AOR rashes mates on " Made To Burn " with ugly concessions to a zeitgeist (grunge) that has come down as well as the one D'ERCOLE's main aim is to uphold. The fact that in the course of the event the last studio recordings of the late guitarist David Zychek as well as scene celebrities such as Paul Sabu can be heard, as a footnote to this more shadow as a light-casting record by the way.