Artist:  Alyson Avenue
   Title: Changes
   Label: Avenue Of Allies

Formed in 1989, originally a male fronted band it was only when backing singer Anette Olzon took over the mike duties for the bands 2000 debut album “Presence Of Mind” that the band really started to take the melodic rock world by storm.  That album was followed four years later with the equally impressive ‘Omega’ album.  The years that followed saw the band take a hiatus, as the various band members embarked on different projects and more significantly in 2007, when Olzon was named as the new singer with Nightwish.  

This news was a kind of double edged sword, in one way the band had lost a great vocalist, but in another it also got the name of Alyson Avenue exposed to an even wider audience, which resulted in added interest in the bands first two albums, so much so that the band re-released their debut album 'Presence of Mind' in its original form again in 2009.  Their second album 'Omega' was renamed 'Omega II', after the band decided to redo the instrumental parts, while keeping Olzon’s original vocals.  2009 also found the band audition for a new vocalist, with the little known Swedish singer Arabella Vitanc landing the vacant mike slot.

Now this brings us to 2011 and the much anticipated third release ‘Changes’.  An album that will not only bring the name of Alyson Avenue back to the lips of the Melodic and AOR fans, but also the name of Vitanc.

The album boasts a great list of guest appearances with the likes of Michael Bormann, Rob Marcello, Chris Laney (who also co-produced and mixed the album) and Mike Andersson all joining the fold, alongside original vocalist Annette Olzon, who also provides backing vocals to several tracks.

The album gets off to a fantastic start with the riff fuelled rocker ‘Liar’ and instantly the power of Vitanc’s vocals comes shining through, as well as the more edgier guitar sound that this album takes on.

Vitanc is joined by Michael Bormann as they duet on the excellent ‘Will I Make Love’, before ripping things back up again with the superb title track ‘Changes’, which features the six string wizardry of Rob Marcello that brings a little more of that harder edge to the overall sound.  The track also features Mike Andersson on backing vocals.

One of Vitanc’s finest vocal performances on the album for me has to be on the excellent ‘Amazing Days’.  A really powerful performance that reminds me of the early Heart days.

The great Melodic Rock just keeps on coming with the more gentle ‘Don’t Know If Love Is Alive’, before turning things up a bit with the rockier ‘Fallen’ and another of my favourites off the album ‘Into The Fire’.  Three songs for the melodic purists out there.

But it you want great guitar orientated rock then ‘I Will Be Waiting’ will get your nod of approval, featuring a stunningly powerful rich vocal from Vitanc which dominates this song.

The pure gold continues with ‘I’ll Cry For You’ which sees another guest backing singer come forward in the shape of Tommy Stråhle, the stunning ‘Somewhere’, before the album closes with the majestic ‘Always Keep On Loving You’, which wraps up a great return from the band.  This release will once again show the world that the name of Alyson Avenue is back and back ringing the ‘Changes’ in once more.

Tracklisting:

1. Liar
2. Will I Make Love
3. Changes
4. Amazing Days
5. Don´t Know If Love Is Alive
6. Fallen
7. Into The Fire
8. I Will Be Waiting
9. I´ll Cry For You
10. Somewhere
11. Always Keep On Loving You

                   

 

All content copyright of The Mayfair Mall Zine unless otherwise stated.