October 6, 2020

Now, this is going to be a double CD best of set that is sure to thrill fans of the American vocalist Mark Boals and any other self-respecting rock fan lucky enough to hear it. In truth, this is a CD that does not need a review as his name should be enough to sell this as he is one of the truly great rock vocalists around with a huge and impressive CV due to his successful solo career and the fact that he is in so much in demand with other bands and as a guest sessions too.

You may have already come across his Ring Of Fire band but he also has major credits for his work with Yngwie Malmsteen (he is the singer on the 1986 Trilogy album plus others), Uli Jon Roth, Royal Hunt and Iron Mask and so many others too. He is also the singer with the recent stunning Shining Black project with the Vision Divine and Labyrinth guitarist Ölaf Thörsen and this is another album that you simply must have. Boals has so much class and his powerhouse vocal delivery, which is a thrilling cross between Dio and Klaus Meine, makes for just about vocal perfection and ideal for the neo classical/progressive/power metal that he seems to specialise in. When you check out how many bands he has sung with and the albums that he has also provided guest vocals on then you can only imagine that his must be the first number in so many musicians address books!

Indeed, the list of performers on these two compilation discs is most impressive with Doug Aldrich, Tony MacAlpine, Jeff Kollman, Neil Citron, Vitalij Kuprij, Vinny Appice, Virgil Donati, Erik Norlander, George Bellas, Philip Bynoe, Chris Brooks and Steve Weingart all contributing. The Boals name is a guarantee of strong melodic songs that are powerful and emotive with immense musical interplay making for stunning power metal. For sure, the music is epic, grandiose and most definitely over the top but it is what we want and expect from him and he always delivers the goods. This double CD is very neatly set out with CD1 featuring 16 tracks culled from his three solo albums with five tracks from 1998’s Ignition, six from2000’s Ring Of Fire and five from 2002’s Edge Of The World.

CD 2 follows a similar pattern with fourteen further tracks taken from the four Ring Of Fire band albums with three tracks from 2001’s The Oracle, four from 2003’s Dreamtower, four from 2004’s Lapse Of Reality and just the three from 2014’s Battle Of Leningrad. So you get a mammoth thirty tracks with a running time in excess of 156-minutes and not a weak track in sight. There are several beautiful and emotive ballads but mainly the tracks are hard hitting neo classical progressive metal epic delights with vocals that are simply stunning and amazing guitar and keyboards combining to make a perfect example of rock heaven.

This is a well compiled album that showcases the outstanding music that Mark Boals has delivered over the last twenty years and is an essential item that you have to have in your life.

All The Best! track list

CD1 – Mark Boals

  1. Jane (4:16)
  2.  Broken Heart (4:59)
  3. I’m Sorry (4:07)
  4.  My Turn (5:10)
  5. Find Our Way (5:32)
  6. Ring Of Fire (4:04)
  7. Death Row (3:45)
  8. Keeper Of The Flame (5:02)
  9. Alone (5:20)
  10. Battle Of The Titans (3:33)
  11. Betrayer (3:40)
  12.  Lady Babylon (6:18)
  13. Between Two Mirrors (5:25)
  14. Through The Endless Night (5:46)
  15. Up To You (4:44)
  16. Garden Of Pain (5:19)

CD2 – Ring Of Fire

  1. Circle Of Time (5:32)
  2. The Oracle (8:17)
  3.  Take Me Home (5:31)
  4. My Deja Vu (6:23)
  5. Blue Sky (5:21)
  6. Ghost Of America (6:04)
  7. Invisible Man (5:33)
  8. Lapse Of Reality (5:50)
  9. You Were There (5:29)
  10.  Perfect World (5:35)
  11. Darkfall (5:31)
  12. Mother Russia (5:14)
  13. Land Of Frozen Tears (4:41)
  14. Our World (4:17)