Released on January 29, 2016 (Frontiers Music srl)
It must be a long lost unreleased track from Dio‘s Dream Evil album — especially with Craig Goldy playing guitar. Well, that’s what I thought when hearing the opening track “Distant Prayer” on Resurrection Kings‘ self-titled album until lead vocalist Chas West started singing. West‘s voice and pitch is strong but very different from the legendary late Ronnie James Dio‘s singing so it actually took a few listens for me to appreciate the Dio sounding like guitar riffs on that opening track with the completely different voice accompanying them.
Resurrection Kings are yet another superstar group formed under the prompting of Frontiers Records president Serafino Perugino who has figured out that there is money to be made and hopefully perhaps at the same time also some great music to be created by pairing up former ’80s and ’90s hard rock / heavy metal greats together. This time, it is former Dio guitarist Craig Goldy teaming up with West (ex-Bonham, Foreigner and Red Dragon Cartel), bassist Sean McNabb (ex-Lynch Mob, Dokken and Quiet Riot) and drummer Vinny Appice (ex-Dio and Black Sabbath). The results are a good collection of songs which will take you back to the late ’80s in terms of sounds and melodies. Although my advance digital copy of the album does not indicate anyone playing keyboards, it sure sounds like there are a shitload of keyboards in the background of just about every song. Perhaps producer Alessandro Del Vecchio provided a helping hand in that regard given that he is quite adept playing keyboards and wrote a number of the songs on Resurrection Kings‘ debut album.
In addition, although I enjoy each song on Resurrection Kings, I struggle a little bit to accept West‘s high opera like singing at times and vocal pitch during most of the songs. For example, I enjoy his vocal delivery during the pre-chorus and chorus portions of the song “Fallin’ For You” but struggle a little bit in hearing him sing the verses. West seems to have a David Coverdale like delivery at times without the raspiness. My other minor complaint when listening to Resurrection Kings is that there are no real standout tracks that stand head and shoulder above the rest. All the songs are well executed — as they should be with such an all-star cast of musicians — and enjoyable to listen to but I don’t pine to play the album over and over like other releases. My favorite tracks are the harder edged material such as the opening track, “Livin’ Out Loud” (which was the Goldy demo that impressed Frontiers Records president Perugino), “Path Of Love” with its cool guitar riff/groove, and the single “Who Do You Run To.”
At the end of the day, Resurrection Kings‘ self-titled debut album is a good but not great record that I enjoy a little bit more each time that I listen to it and which definitely deserves a few spins to get used to West‘s vocal delivery over the sometimes Dio styled guitar riffs.
01. Distant Prayer
02. Livin’ Out Loud
03. Wash Away
04. Who Do You Run To
05. Fallin’ For You
06. Never Say Goodbye
07. Path Of Love
08. Had Enough
09. Don’t Have To Fight No More
10. Silent Wonder
11. What You Take
Chas West – lead vocals
Craig Goldy – guitars
Sean McNabb – bass guitar
Vinny Appice – drums
Produced by Alessandro Del Vecchio
Reviewed by Olivier for Sleaze Roxx, January 2016