Artist:  Gary John Barden
   Title: Eleventh Hour
   Label: Escape Music

When it comes to British Hard Rock institutions the name of Gary John Barden is right up their with the greats, apart from being in my opinion the true voice of MSG, and voice behind Statetrooper and Silver, Barden has released some great solo material.  Right from his first debut release ‘Past And Present’, which saw him rework some MSG classics. Then there was the blues filled ‘Agony And Xtasy’ and the rock filled ‘Love And War’, now in 2011 Barden returns with what I think is his best solo effort to date.  Once again he teams up with old pal Michael Voss, who handles the production duties on this new release ‘Eleventh Hour’.

With Barden’s unmistakable blues filled vocals dominating the album and Voss’s near perfect production, this album will once again highlight one of the voices of British Hard Rock.

Things get underway in emphatic style with the rocking ‘Baghdad’, an all out heads down rock track, that instantly shows Barden still has a great set of pipes on him, as he unleashes his own 'Weapon Of Mass Destruction'.  With big licks and plenty of strong back beat, this is old school rockin’ at its best.

The good times just keep on rolling as the album continues with ‘Fallen By The Wayside’, a gentle rocker that plays to Barden’s vocal strength, as it simply oozes bluesy rock.  Speaking of bluesy rock, check out ‘Child Of Sorrow’, a real smooth groove filled song with a great sing-a-long chorus.

That same vibe is continued with the excellent ‘What You Wanna Do’, a track filled with motorsport innuendo that keeps you hooked right to the chequered flag.

The grooves come thick and fast with one of my favourite tracks off the album ‘We Are Dead’, before the pace is picked up once more with the excellent ‘All In’.  Another a riff filled slice of bluesy rock filled to brim with great riffs.  Then it's time to funk it up a little with the foot tapping Southern Rock feel of ‘Blackmail’, before returning to the traditional Barden rock with 'Shine A Light On Me’, the its funky time once more with ‘Easy Does It’.

If I had to pick out one outstanding track from the album then it would have to be the dark rocker ‘Before The Eyes Of The World’, probably the heaviest track on the album, no probable to be honest, it is the heaviest! This is as dark as it is majestic, a real barnstormer, this song just really stands out from the pack.

The album closes as it started with a meat and bones rocker in ‘Don’t Take Me For A Loser’, which wraps up another great slice of British Rock from one of its greatest ambassadors ... “cometh the hour cometh the man”.

Tracklisting:

1. Baghdad
2. Fallen By The Wayside
3. Child Of Sorrow
4. What You Wanna Do
5. We Are Dead
6. All In
7. Blackmail
8. Shine A Light On Me
9. Easy Does It
10. Before The Eyes Of The World
11. Don't Take Me For A Loser

                   

 

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