Artist: Shark Island 
   Title: Gathering Of The Faithful
   Label: Frontier Records

From the bands early start back in the mid eighties the future looked bright for Shark Island, but like many bands of the time the rock n roll gods dismissed them and the were left along the wayside. The band did release their highly acclaimed debut in 1989 entitled ‘Law And Order’, but due to record company and management problems the second album was never released and the band eventually went their separate ways.

But now the band have reformed with nearly all the original members intact. Richard Black on vocals, Spencer Sercombe on guitars Christian Heilmann on bass and replacing original drummer Greg Ellis is replaced by Beautiful Creatures sticksman Glen Sobel.

Blending songs from the bands past with some new material, this album brings Shark Island slap bang up to date. The album gets off to an impressive start with ‘Blue Skies’, a song that highlights the brooding vocals of Black.

The album continues with another great song the mid tempo rocker ‘Tomorrow’s Child’ that feature some outstanding guitar work from Sercombe backed by the rhythm section of Sobel and Heilman. The song writing talents of Sercombe and Black are highlighted many times on this album, with the likes of ‘The Stranger’ and ‘Go West’ are just two phenomenal pieces of musical artistry.

Things are slowed down a touch with the gentle ballads ‘Welcome Goodbye’, ‘Life Goes On’ and ‘Looking For The Sun’, all great tracks in their own right the gentle tones are broken up with the more up tempo hard rock sounds of ‘Down To The Ground’.

But one of my favourite tracks has to be the guitar infested ‘Heaven’, a track that gives Blacks vocals a real chance to shine.  The semi acoustic ‘I Had A Dream’ is another outstanding ballad, perhaps a song for all the misguided lovers out there.

Enough of all the tender love tunes, it's time to rock and rock again and we do just that with the melodic rocker ‘Will To Power’.  The thumbing bass intro of ‘Need Your Love’ edges its way through the track with Black giving his most haunting vocal performance of the entire album.

The album closes on a high with the massive sounds of ‘Temptation’ and finishes off nicely a quite superb hard rock album and hopefully the band will build on this album. Guys just don’t leave it so long between albums next time will ya!

Tracklisting:

1. Blue Skies
2. Tomorrow's Child
3. The Stranger
4. Go West
5. Welcome Goodbye
6. Life Goes On
7. Down To The Ground
8. Looking For The Sun
9. Heaven
10. I Had A Dream
11. Will To Power
12. Need Your Love
13. Temptation
                  

 

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