Album Reviews
Band: C.O.P. UK

Title: No Place For Heaven

Label: UDR GmbH

'No Place For Heaven' is the much-anticipated follow-up to the bands 2011 album 'To Die For'.  A lot has changed in the Crimes of Passion camp since the last album, most notable the bands moniker as Crimes of Passion has been whittled down to C.O.P. UK.  I guess so the Sheffield sextet can’t be confused with the Pat Benatar tribute act Crimes of Passion, but also on the personnel front, as joining the band we have Andrew Mense on guitar, who joined the band full time in 2014.  The former roadie / driver brings some rock n' roll swagger to the line up.  Also new to the line-up is Scott Jordan on bass and on keyboards Circle II Circle member Henning ’Wanna’ Wanner.  These three new members join stalwart members Dale Radcliffe on vocals, Kev Tonge on drums and Charles Staton on guitar.

Now to the new album.  To be honest I’ve had samples of the new album for some time now and have been dying to tell the world just how good this new album is.

As it opens up with the excellent 'The Core’, it's straight up big riffing rock n' roll with the twin guitars of Mense and Staton showing the pairs ability to drive a great rock song.  Speaking of driving, you can't help but notice how Radcliffe has focused this album on his more melodic vocal side.  A strength that really shines throughout the entire album, and what about the engine of the band, Tonge’s powerhouse drumming and Jordan’s huge bass lines.  This opener really sets out the bands stall for the rest of the album.

Which continues with the excellent Poodlesque ‘My Blood’.  Another storming battery of big bass lines and massive drums, with the twin guitars really gelling well with the atmospheric keyboards of Wanner, in what is a real Melodic Metal monster.

The tempo is brought down just a touch with the superb ‘Kiss Of An Angel’, a great powerful yet melodic vocal from Radcliffe drives this one.  This is the man at his powerful and emotive best, it back to big riffing melodic metal with ‘Take It To The Grave’, another superb twin guitar driven track.  If there was a genre for Metal Ballads, then this one would fit that category like a glove.

But for me the true class of the album has to be the title track ‘No Place Like Heaven’, where again Radcliffe shows off his powerful melodic side on this power balladesque slice of ear-candy.  This song also sees him duetting with Cloudy Yang of Avantasia fame.

The multi-faceted splendour of ‘Burn Hell’ is next.  This one mixes that melodic metal style with a touch of classic hard rock, a real roller-coaster of a track that really shows the bands versatility and highlights the twin guitars really well.

The tempo is brought back up in spades with the massive ‘Halo’, which is basically the band at its heavy metal best.  Radcliffe brings his big guns on this one, backed by a powerhouse rhythm section.  If you’re familiar with the bands last album then you'll know they have their heavier side and 'Halo' is the heaviest track so far on the new album.

The heavier side of things is continued with the excellent ‘Catch Me If You Can’, a track that has more edge than the Gillette factory.  A real up-tempo sing-along metal extravaganza that I'm sure will go down a storm live.

The tempo is brought down once again with another superb Melodic Metal Ballad in ‘No Mans Land’, before one of my favourite tracks off the album, the stonking ‘One In A Million’, as the band go almost Symphonic Metal on this one, with Wanner bringing that edge with some great keyboards.  That's all before the album closes in style with the terrific ‘Stranger Than Fiction’, the true ballad of the album and what a way to round off a great album.

I think producer Sasha Paeth has brought out the sound that we all knew Crimes of Passion had within them.  This is without a doubt, the band's finest album to date.

Review by: Barry McMinn

 

Tracklisting:

1. The Core 
2. My Blood 
3. Kiss Of An Angel 
4. Take It To The Grave 
5. No Place For Heaven 
6. Burn Hell 
7. Halo 
8. Catch Me If You Can 
9.  No Mans Land
10.  One In A Million 
11. Stranger Than Fiction

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