April 2, 2023

Regular readers will know that the Frontiers label are very keen on promoting new projects and utilising musicians on their roster to make up new bands which some critics may call formulaic but, in the vast majority of cases, the formula works so therefore why change it? Now,I love melodic rock and when it morphs into traditional ’70s themed hard rock then so much the better.

With all that said, what we have here is another new band but what a sensational team this is given the mixture of new, exciting artists and well-established and, frankly, more mature names making I Stand a real standard bearer for heavy rock at its finest. The music and style is inspired by some real titans of rock and if you are a fan of Rainbow, Dio, Royal Hunt, Pretty Maids, Jorn, Lords Of Black, Restless Spirits and Last In Line then this record will surely blow you away.

The musicians involved are compelling and commanding with James Robledo on vocals, Jimi Bell and Francesco Savino on guitar, Chuck Wright on bass and Ken Mary on drums and, no surprise here given that this is Frontiers, so we also have Alessandro Del Vecchio on keyboards, guitars and backing vocals and whilst he is a stunning musician and a genuinely world class keyboard player but there is a feeling that just maybe he is spreading himself a little too thinly. Having said that though his keyboard work on this release is truly exceptional and gives the music an extra touch of class! James Robledo is another singer in a very long line of vocalist influenced by the one and only Ronnie James Dio and if you haven’t heard the Sinner’s Blood album yet then you ought to check it out immediately as this is another pure gold release. Fans of the Italian Goth rock band False Memories will also appreciate the guitar skills of Francesco Savino and he has made an impressive link up with the mighty chops of the experienced veteran Jimi Bell (House of Lords, Autograph) with the equally impressive Chuck Wright (Quiet Riot, House of Lords, Giuffria) on bass and Ken Mary (House of Lords, Alice Cooper, Fifth Angel) on drums so they all have a real rock pedigree and then factor in Del Vecchio and you will see that this band simply oozes class from every pore.

Indeed, the resumes for all of these musicians make for impressive reading and most probably gives this band, whisper it, real super group credentials. Together, they have produced an album of timeless, classic hard rock that covers all bases from 1975 onwards but this is no mere retro affair, rather it is a work of prodigious talent that has taken all that has gone before and wrapped in all up into 52-minutes of sheer hard rock heaven. The songs are sublime and melodic with a real steel core over which the guitars and keyboard build up a wall of lush and effective instrumentation and James Robledo again shows that he is a singer with the skill set to impress at the highest level for a long time to come.

A new band for sure but a seasoned team of musicians and together then have released a must have album that will become part of rock history, end of story!

I Stand

  1. I Stand (5:07)
  2. Disappear (4:16)
  3. Down In A Hole (5:05)
  4. On My Way To You (4:18)
  5. Where Will Our Tears Fall? (3:49)
  6. Book Of Love (4:09)
  7. Stranded In The Middle Of Nowhere (4:33)
  8. Follow Me (6:08)
  9. To The Edge Of The World (4:27)
  10. Search Over The Horizon (5:00)
  11. Only The Brave (4:44)