April 28, 2021

The beginnings of Alta Reign go back 30 years when the drummer Jeff Plate (Savatage/Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO)/Metal Church) started the seeds of the project which has taken until now to come to fruition. He has brought on board a quality team of musicians with TSO keyboard player Jane Mangini alongside Tommy Cook (guitars/lead vocals), Collin Holloway (guitars/lead vocals), Kevin McCarthy (bass, vocals) and Zach Hamilton (keyboards, guitars/vocals). It seems that Plate has been working on one theme or another for the album since the very early ’90s but the stimulus to complete the project seems to have come from the inactivity within the music business over the last year due to the COVID epidemic. It is ironic that this ‘lost’ year has allowed so many musicians the time to work on the projects that they simply do not have the time to complete under normal circumstances.

Mother’s Day comes with a great deal of expectation given the past of Jeff Plate and the fact that he has played with some truly magnificent bands has given him musical creativity to stamp his own mark on an album of very high quality classic hard rock. The music was definitely born in the ’80s and ’90s as it contains all the hallmarks of that golden period but modern day techniques and standards are writ large over the whole work so that it is not a retro piece at all but a fine rock album that builds on the past and is very much a ‘new’ rock album for the 2020’s. There is a touch of Savatage, Dream Theater, Foo Fighters and even Alter Bridge on this very classy metal album which features performances to die for. The vocals are truly golden with wonderful harmonies giving the album a real multi-layered feel and the combination of guitars and keyboards is simply delicious. Not a note is wasted as the guys shown their music heritage to great effect with an album that covers the range of progressive metal, melodic and hard rock and even metal.

Mothers Day is another album that is a grower and you are impressed with the first play which then turns into open mouthed astonishment as further plays reveal previously unrealised heights of emotional intensity and depths of soul tormenting wonder. There are several exquisite ballads that are unparalleled in their sophistication and emotional intensity which are a million miles removed from the usual stadium power ballad that so many bands churn out at the drop of a hat. Then, when they crank up the power they are as gargantuan as Zeppelin on a good day turn and there are not so many bands that you can say that about. Any budding song writers out there should listen to the track Rise which features Chris Caffery just to see how it should be done but, then again, this dark art has taken many, many years to perfect.

I appreciate that money is short at the moment but this is an album that belongs in every record collection and if it doesn’t become a future classic then I’ll give up listening to music now, sheer genius.

Mother’s Day track list

  1. Shine (4:43)
  2. Witness (4:11)
  3. Thin Red Line (5:42)
  4. Never Say Never (4:59)
  5. Mother’s Day (feat. Joel Hoekstra) (7:04)
  6. ESC (Escape) (1:45)
  7. Come Out and Play (5:02)
  8. Let’s Go! (I’m In Charge Now) (4:23)
  9. Always (3:29)
  10. Immortal (4:54)
  11. Passage (1:55)
  12. Rise (feat Chris Caffery) (8:13)
  13. Always (Acoustic Version) (Bonus Track) (4:27)