September 10, 2022

We now come to the second album by Restless Spirits, the relatively new band put together by the remarkable musician and thrilling guitarist Tony Hernando of Lords of Black fame, the superior metal outfit which effectively brought Ronnie Romero to the attention of the world stage.

The first point that needs mentioning is that Second To None is not as heavy as the self-titled debut put out in 2019 which showcased the amazing chops of Hernando and his superior song writing skills to perfection. He used a number of stunning vocalists on the first album with Johnny Gioeli (Hardline, Axel Rudi Pell), Deen Castronovo (Revolution Saints, ex-Journey), Dino Jelusic (Animal Drive), Kent Hilli (Perfect Plan, Giant), Alessandro Del Vecchio (Hardline) and Diego Valdez (Dream Child) all adding their own magic to an album that really is a ‘must have’ for all rock fans. Second To None follows the same pattern with Hernando offering up guitar, bass, keyboards and backing vocals with piano and keyboards from the returning Victor Diez and drums from Matt De Vallejo having taken over the slot from Deen Castronovo. Singing duties are spread pretty evenly between Johnny Gioeli, Kent Hilli and, new to the project, singing sensation Chez Kane and Renan Zonta (Electric Mob, Skills) and that is what I call a petty diverse and talented team of vocalists. Kent Hlli is proving himself to be a major talent with Perfect Plan and a much in demand vocalist with Chez Kane being a name to keep an eye on having a powerful voice somewhere between the divine Pat Benatar and Tracy Hitchings which truly does command your attention. Renan Zonta is exemplary as always and Johnny Gioeli is simply in a class of his own. Together, they have put a real sparkle into the songs written either by Hernando or Hernando and Diez and all are perfect melodic rock delights covering both soft and hard rock with storming power ballads as good as anything from the 1980s and some serious hard rock with wonderful guitar work.

Not as hard and heavy as Lords of Black or indeed the first Restless Spirits album by any means but still infectious, quality rock music that quickly becomes an old friend! The music is thrilling melodic rock and the choice of singers to bring the music to life is inspirational and all combine to make this another fine testament to the talents of Tony Hernando and another fine album from Restless Spirit. It will be interesting to see which way he goes for album number three, and I would hope the heavier route, but I guess he would respond by saying that Lords of Black is his route for very heavy rock.

Second To None

  1. I Need A Lil’ White Lie (feat Kent Hilli) (5:00)
  2. Hey You (feat Chez Kane) (4:05)
  3. Dreams Of The Wild (feat Chez Kane) (5:20)
  4. Until The End Of Time (feat Chez Kane) (5:12)
  5. A Dream To Be Lost In Time (feat Renan Zonta) (4:26)
  6. And Yet It Breaks (feat Renan Zonta) (4:23)
  7. Too Many (feat Johnny Gioeli) (6:11)
  8. Nothin’ Dirty Here (feat Johnny Gioeli) (4:59)
  9. Always A Pretender (feat Johnny Gioeli) (5:51)
  10. No Time Wasters (feat Renan Zonta) (5:00)
  11. Dirty Money (feat Kent Hilli) (5:56)