Label: AOR Heaven 2011
Review by Alan Holloway
A couple of years ago, I said many nice things about Outloud, a band formed by Talon vocalist Chandler Mogel and Bob Katsionis, keyboard tinkler with Firewind. Melodic yet with a solid, powerful base, their debut is an album that can be enjoyed over and over again, so naturally I was happy to see a second effort, and rightfully so.
Despite a cringeworthy (and thankfully very short) spoken intro, the cliché ridden opener “We Came To Rock” sets the tone pretty well, although it’s not the best example of what the band has to offer. Outloud are an amalgamation of some of the better European melodic rock acts, such as W.E.T, Eclipse and , H.E.A.T and even (thanks to Mogel’s voice and the ever present guitar riffage) classic Stryper. “Love Catastrophe” is a pretty constant barrage of very melodic music, from the tacky opening to the title track, which sensibly rounds off the album with an absolute killer chorus. There’s nothing wrong with the band playing it, with Ex Firewind drummer Mark Cross keeping everything tight at the back (as he will soon do for Tainted Nation) and Tony Kash throwing the appropriate guitar shapes and pulling off some neat solos throughout. There’s no standout musical performance, instead everyone just flows together and makes cool music, which is as it should be.
Aside from a rather tame ballad (“Someday”), this is a very nice album, one of those I can just listen to several times without getting bored. Nothing new, maybe, but full of melody and as power laden as AOR is allowed to be before someone calls it metal. Naturally, fans of the first CD will love it, but I can certainly recommend it if you like modern European AOR with a bit of an edge.