The latest project from Frontiers is a sure fire winner, with the well known American vocalist Mark Boals combining with Italian guitarist Ölaf Thörsen (aka Carlo Andrea Magnani) to form a hard hitting and most accessible heavy melodic rock band. The immediate impression you get on hearing it for the first time is just how well it is put together as it is just so composed and assured, and it’s like the guys have been working together since forever. Part of this is surely down to the fact that the other musicians in the band are Oleg Smirnoff on keyboards, Nik Mazzucconi on bass and Matt Peruzzi on drums – and these are all in the Italian power metal band Labyrinth alongside Thörsen. Working with already well established colleagues does allow for a more personal interaction between the musicians and the sheer ease and professionalism shown in this recording is testimony to the respect that they have for each other.
The collaboration between Boals and Thorson is not a new event either, and first goes back to 2014 when Roberto Tiranti left Labyrinth and Boals was lined up to be the new singer and even began working on new songs. However, busy schedules prevented from Boals taking the matter further and then Tiranti returned to the fold but this obviously meant that the singer and guitarist now had unfinished business between then which has eventually led to the formation of this new project. Those who know of Ölaf Thorson through his work with Labyrinth and Vision Divine will appreciate his amazing and mercurial guitar skills and he knows how to play show-stopping solos, of which there are very many on this quite stunning rock album. Mark Boals needs little introduction with his powerhouse vocal delivery which is a thrilling cross between Dio and Klaus Meine, making for just about vocal perfection. His list of credits is huge, and when you see Yngwie Malmsteen, Royal Hunt, Ring Of Fire plus guest slots too numerous to mention on his CV then you know you are in the presence of rock royalty.
The songs are perfectly crafted to showcase the talents of every single band member and this is not a vehicle just for Boals and Thorson to trade off each other, it is a real and effective band and they definitely have that special magic between them. The album is proud and heavy with a set of brilliantly written songs, stunning guitars, some amazing keyboard work and an outstanding performance from Boals. Quite simply melodic rock just does not get better than this.
Track List: The House Of The Fallen Souls (5:23), The Boogeyman (4:32), My Life (3:35), A Sad Song (6:18), Shining Black (5:16), Just Another Day (4:18), Where Are Your Gods (3:41), The Carousel (4:33), The Day We Said Goodbye (4:59), We Fall (5:23).