Artist:  David Mark Pearce
   Title: Strange Angels
   Label: AOR Heaven
 

The name of David Mark Pearce may have a few of you wondering who?!?  But believe me once word gets out about this exceptional new release that will be thing of the past.

For a little history of the guitarist, songwriter, sound engineer and producer hailing from Penzance Cornwall we go back to when David was just fifteen, when he started his musical path by learning to play drums then soon after took up the guitar, with spells in local bands at the age of eighteen.  He left his hometown for the bright lights of the big city and headed to London to attend the London College of Music and Media, which he completed in 1996 and began his career as an engineer and producer, as well as performing with bands Union Jane and Naked Feet.

This takes us up to 2002 when David’s fortunes took a step in the right direction, when Mike Clarke a friend of YES keyboard player Oliver Wakeman asked David to give them a listen.  So impressed was Wakeman with what he heard, that David jokingly asked if Wakeman was looking for a guitarist and that was the start of his spell with the Oliver Wakeman Band.

Fast-forward to 2011 after releasing a solo EP in 2009 he has followed this up with his debut solo album 'Strange Ang3ls', that features two great vocal talents in the form of Goran Edman and John Payne.  Along with these two vocal giants come the band of Pearce himself on guitars, Lisa LaRue on keyboards, Mikael Wikman on drums and completing the line-up C. S. Brown on bass.

So that’s the history lesson over with, now it's time for the album itself which gets off to an emphatic start with the intro ‘Ang3ls (Help Us)’.  After a piercing scream breaks the silence the album gets underway proper with ‘Alone I Cry’, which sees Edman taking up the mike for this stunning slice of Melodic Hard Rock, with Pearce showing his six string dexterity right from the off.

The album continues with ‘Shelter Me From The Rain’, which sees Payne take over the mike duties.  This one brings a more progressive hard rock edge to the proceedings, well with Payne at the mike I wouldn’t expect anything different, but it’s the guitar work of Pearce that really drives this one for me.

It's back the more traditional Melodic Rock with Edman back on vocals for the Rainbowesque ‘Tell Me Why’, before Pearce is given full rein with the instrumental ‘Every Time It Rains’, featuring a stunning slice of virtuoso guitarmanship from Pearce once again.

The band wax-lyrical once more for the stunning title track ‘Strange Ang3ls’, a real barnstormer of a track, a real touch of ear candy, which is continued with equally excellent ‘Save Your Prayers’, where we hear that air of Rainbow creeping in again, although this one has a meatier guitar lick.

If I was pushed to pick a favourite track of the album then it would be between 'Alone I Cry’ and the next song ‘To Live Again’, with the latter maybe just edging it because of the stirring guitar work from Pearce.  But both tracks are standout moments from this stunning album which closes with another two gems in ‘Eden Is Burning’ and the hard rocking ‘So Far From Heaven’.

As I said before the name of David Mark Pearce will soon be on the lips of all fans of great Melodic Hard Rock because this album is one of the finest debut releases of the year for me.

Tracklisting:

1. Angels (Help Us)
2. Alone I Cry
3. Shelter Me From The Rain
4. Tell Me Why
5. Every Time It Rains (Instrumental)
6. Strange Angels
7. To Live Again
8. Save Your Prayers
9. Eden Is Burning
10. So Far From Heaven

                  

 

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