Following his nigh on disastrous live return to the UK last October, with the complete shambles that was “Giuffria” at Rockingham this past October, former Dio guitarist Craig Goldy once more re-enters the rock ‘n’ roll arena with Resurrection Kings – a project that sees him teaming up with one time bandmate Vinny Appice alongside Bonham/Foreigner/Tribe Of Gypsies singer Chas West, ex-Lynch Mob/Dokken/Quiet Riot bassist Sean McNabb and – almost inevitably seeing as this is a Frontiers Music release – uber melodic rock songwriter/producer Alessandro Del Vecchio.
The result is an album which may well live up to both its title and the name of its creators, by helping to resurrect some form of musical credibility for careers which may previously have been perceived, by some (many?) to have been very much on the wane. It’s an album which also heavily references, and pays homage, to the musicians’ collective musical heritages and pedigrees – but somewhat unusually, in that it actually takes a massive step backwards, into the era immediately before that in which they themselves emerged into our own collective musical consciences.
For ‘Resurrection Kings’ is an album that is very much embedded in the vibe of the mid- to late-70s, with its heavy emphasis on the kind of dark, crunching, pompous blues-laden riffs produced by the likes of Whitesnake, Nazareth and RJD-era Rainbow, but delivered with a magnanimously modern vibe and sensibilty.
What is perhaps most remarkable about this album is the fire in Goldy’s guitar work: this is the first original material he has produced in something like 20-plus years, and the anxiety and hunger is evident in every single note. His riffs cascade and tumble, with freshness and vibrancy, while his solos are energetic, enervating and almost elegiac in places. There is not a moment on the 11 tracks where his contribution is anything less than flawless.
But, of course, it’s not all about the guitarist (although, for many he will be the centre of attention). This is very much a band project, and much of the focus in this regard is inevitably going to fall on Chas West: and rightly so, as he is a truly remarkable talent. His voice is rich and angry, with a deep guttural roar that its possessor knows how to contain before letting it bubble, enticingly, to the surface without letting fully rip. Through every lyric of every song you have the feeling that he is more than capable of delivering so much more, but is deliberately holding affairs in abeyance – and his performance is so much more effective for this forbearing restraint, as it adds to the dramatic effect of the material.
In a summation, this is an album which is the sum of its parts: hard-edged melodic rock delivered with aplomb and passion, and as emphatic statement as any as to where the state of this particular mien of hard rock stands at the moment.
Distant Prayer / Livin’ Out Loud / Wash Away / Who Do You Run To / Fallin’ For You / Never Say Goodbye / Path Of Love / Had Enough / Don’t Have To Fight No More / Silent Wonder / What You Take
Recommended listening: Livin’ Out Loud / Who Do You Run To
‘Resurrection Kings’ is released by Frontiers Records on 29 January.