Album Reviews
Band: Sweet & Lynch

Title: Only To Rise

Label: Frontiers Records

'Only to Rise' is the new album featuring as its protagonists Michael Sweet and George Lynch, two household names in the world of Hard Rock, so no introductions needed.  Joining the pair on this album are bassist James Lomenzo and drummer Brian Tichy, again two names who need no introduction.

The band came about when Serafino Perugino, President of Frontiers Music, got in touch with Sweet ... “He asked me to basically sing on this record and then I suggested producing it and co-wrote the songs with George” ... continues the singer. Brian Tichy and James Lomenzo were then called in to complete the line-up.

From these acorns a mighty oak did grow and 'Only To Rise' is that oak.  A great Hard Rock album highlighting not only Sweets vocal prowess and Lynch unsurpassed guitar work, but also the big rhythm section of Lomenzo and Tichy.

The album opens up with ‘The Wish’, a great opening barrage that hits the mark from the off as Lynch’s guitars kicks this one into gear, leading the path for Sweet's heavenly vocals, with the big rhythm section laying down a solid foundation for the pair.

The big riffing guitars continue with the massive ‘Like A Dying Rose’, before things take a mellower path with the ballad ‘Love Stays’, which for me is where Sweet really shines vocally.  His vocals have never sound so clear and warm as they do on this one.

It's back to the big guitar sounds of Lynch for ‘Time Will Tell’ and the thumping ‘Rescue Me’, with Lynch really brings his A-game to the mix on the latter of these two, before the returning to the mellower side of the Hard Rock genre with another ballad ‘Me Without You’, upon which Sweet’s vocals are just sublime.

It's hard rocking all the way on the stormer ‘Recover’, the lick fuelled ‘Divine’ and the excellent ‘September’, before one of my favourite tracks off the album ‘Strength In Numbers’.  This one could have been on any of the Stryper albums, it has that feel about it with the added orchestrations.

The album closes with two monster hard rock anthems, first up it's ‘Hero-Zero’, a track that has a 70’s feel running about it, then the album closer and title track is pure 80’s fuelled Hard Rock at its finest, with its driven guitars, massive bass lines and powerhouse drums, all capped off by a massive vocal.  A real barnstormer to close out this great album.  Let's hope there will be a second, because these guys just rock. 

Review by: Barry McMinn

 

Tracklisting:

1. The Wish  
2. Like A Dying Rose 
3. Love Stays 
4. Time Will Tell 
5. Rescue Me 
6. Me Without You 
7. Recover
8. Divine 
9. September 
10. Strength In Numbers 
11. Hero-Zero
12. Only To Rise 

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