Artist: Serpentine 
   Title: Living And Dying In High Definition
   Label: AOR Heaven
 

Last year the British Melodic/Hard Rock scene got a much needed boost on the new blood front in the from of Serpentine's debut release ‘A Touch Of Heaven’.  The band were instantly hailed as the saviours of British Melodic Rock (something that seems to have been a curse to bands in the past).  Not bad for a band that were in somewhat of a hiatus, with an American singer who wasn’t up to the task, that compounded with the diminishing British rock scene not welcoming new talent the road to fame and fortune, making it all seem like a distant dream.  But that all changed when former Shy and current TNT frontman Tony Mills stepped in as vocalist, after a chance encounter with Shy drummer Bob Richards in 2008.  The wheels were set in motion and the rebirth of Serpentine took place some three months later.

The bands debut was a stunning slice of pure Melodic Hard Rock, with Mills at the helm the band were on to a winner and soon they started working on the follow up ‘Living And Dying In High Definition’.  Sadly things don’t always run smoothly in this business and Mills although the vocalist featured on this new release, has had to call time on his vocal duties with the band, having relocated to Norway full-time to concentrate on TNT.  In his place the band have found a worthy replacement in the shape of Matt Black, who has proven his worth with rave reviews on the band recent live tour with Houston and Crash Diet .

So on to the album itself, this is once again another great Melodic Rock album taking up the torch where 'A Touch Of Heaven' left off and even surpassing it in my honest opinion.

With Mills at his vocal best and Chris Gould (guitars), Gareth Noon (keys), Gareth Vanstone (bass) and Roy Millward (drums) bringing sure melodic bliss musically this is one, a release that is definitely a worthy addition to any Melodic Rock fans collection.

The album opens up in superb style with ‘Deep Down (There’s A Price For Love)’, with Noon’s keyboards setting the atmospheric undertones before Mills and the rest of the guys take things to a whole new level, with towering melodies and Mills at his vocal best.

The album continues its impressive path with the simply stunning ‘Philadelphia’.  A more rockier affair with the emphasis more on big guitar riffs and beefier keyboards, then its ‘Dreamer’, which features more of the same big licks from Gould and with some great vocal harmonies as one has come to expect from Mills.  A song that really shows the band can pack a punch when the need arises.

The tempo is brought down a touch with the excellent ballad ‘Love Is Blue’ and the storming ‘Where Do We Go From Here’, before picking things up once more with the rocking ‘Cry’.  But it’s the power infused ballads that really brings out the purity in Mills vocals and one of the best on the album is ‘Best Days Of Our Lives’, a real slice of melodic ear candy.

There is more than enough rock on this album to keep those pulses racing and ‘Heartbreak Town’ gets the old juices flowing once more, before the dark edged haunting melodies of ‘Nuremberg’ and the album closer ‘Forgotten Heroes’, which has a real epic feel to the opening, before the track really takes off and rocks it up big style.

As second albums go this is a corker and I just hope album three with Black at the helm is equally impressive, one thing's for sure, the guy has big shoes to fill.

Tracklisting:

1. Deep Down (There's A Price For Love)
2. Philadelphia
3. Dreamer
4. Love Is Blue
5. Where Do We Go From Here?
6. Cry
7. Best Days Of Our Lives
8. Heartbreak Town
9. Nuremberg
10. Forgotten Heroes

                  

 

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