Wednesday, May 21, 2014

LILLIAN AXE: ”One Night In The Temple”

Rating: RRRR
Label: Melodicrock Records 2014
Review by Kimmo Toivonen

Although I’ve liked Lillian Axe since 1989 when I first heard their ”Love+War” album, a few things were against this album and I was kind of hesitant to listen to it. First of all, most live albums I own haven’t been getting a lot of ”airplay” in this household, I usually go for the studio versions if I want to listen to something. Secondly, the recent Lillian Axe material has been on the heavier side of things, with guitarist/songwriter Steve Blaze’s unique melodies buried under heavy riffs and dark atmosphere. To my surprise, this album has been getting a lot of spins recently, and some of these ”unplugged” versions of the newer songs bring them to life quite nicely.

New vocalist Brian Jones doesn’t have an easy task with the older songs, which have been etched in my memory sung by Ron Taylor, one of my all-time favorite singers. To be honest, some of the ”classics” just sound a bit ”wrong” with Jones singing them, but that’s just me and my memories. He does a very decent job after all.

The two songs from the first album (”Misery Loves Company” and ”Nobody Knows”) feature vocalist Johnny Vines, who was in the band during its’ formative years. I had no idea that Taylor wasn’t the original singer, but you learn something new everyday. Vines is a good singer too, and does a fine job on the two songs. I just wish Blaze could’ve lured Taylor to the show to sing a few of his signature numbers…

Highlights for me include ”The Day I Met You” with Anne Young-Bridges on violin, ”The Great Divide”, ”The World Stopped Turning” and ”The Promised Land”, to name a few. All in all this is a very enjoyable album, with the emphasis on the fine melodies of the Lillian Axe songs.


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