Artist: Serpentine 
   Title: A Touch Of Heaven
   Label:
AOR Heaven  

The British Melodic and Hard Rock scenes haven’t had that much to sing about since the whole genre has now been forced into a somewhat underground scene, with the die-hard fans crying out for a saviour. So who would have thought that after the many pretenders to the throne have come and gone, that out of the valleys of Wales you would hear not the choral miners, or the Tom Jones’s, but the Melodic Hard Rock of Serpentine.

The band started out as a trio Gareth David Noon, Gareth Vanstone and Chris Gould and started the ball rolling with a few demos featuring American vocalist Greg Flores, but due to distance restrictions this union was short lived and three months later the search was on for a new vocalist. And a chance meeting at Blackwood, South Wales between Gould and Shy drummer Bob Richards in 2008, set the wheels in motion and with a year and a half's worth of writing behind them, the trio united with the legend that is Tony Mills a month later.

In the summer of 2009, the band added new members John Clews (Guitar) and Charlie Skeggs (Drums), so the Serpentine line-up was now complete.  The resulting album 'A Touch Of Heaven' was then born under the guidance of with Mark V Stuart (Magnum) and Sheena Sear behind the desk.

To say 'A Touch Of Heaven' is what the British Melodic Rock fans have been waiting for is an understatement.  The band tick all the boxes for those diehard fans of the genre, but it’s Mills at the helm that really steers the ship.  His unmistakable vocals really punch up the level of the album.

From the opener and title track ‘A Touch Of Heaven’, Mills takes the lead but don’t think this is just an all Mills album, the band really are a bunch of talented young guns with the guitars of Gould matching anything I’ve heard from the genre this year.

The album is true the genre as you can get, with great melodies and catchy choruses mixed with a great vocal and this is the dominant factor throughout the album, as it continues with great tracks like ‘Whatever Heartache’, the first single from the album, the majestic keyboard and guitar infused ‘Lonely Nights’ and the gentle tones of ‘For The Love Of It All’.  But the band do have some hard rock moments with ‘Let Love Rain Down’, one of my favourites off the album and the fantastic ‘Fashion’.

But the band aren’t afraid to try something different and one real surprise on the album is the cover of ‘Unbreak My Heart’, yes the Toni Braxton song!  Whoever came up with the idea of covering this track, whether it was a moment of madness or a divine inspiration, they have to be praised as this version really outshines the original tenfold.  This song was made for Mills phenomenal vocal style and caps off an album that once again will re-establish the British Melodic Rock scene as a major force.  Let's hope a tour follows the album release, so we can all pay homage to the band and show the world that we in Britain still have an abundance of talent when it comes to creating and playing great Rock.

 Tracklisting:

1. A Touch Of Heaven
2. Whatever Heartache
3. Lonely Nights
4. For The Love Of It
5. Let Love Rain Down
6. In My Blood
7. Fashion
8. We Belong
9. Love Suicide
10. Unbreak My Heart 

                  

 

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