It is not the first time a well known vocalist and guitarist have done a project together, the main example being when vocalist David Coverdale (Whitesnake) and Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) joined forces. Now two titans of classic 80s glam metal, vocalist Michael Sweet (Stryper) and guitarist George Lynch (ex-Dokken), join forces with their debut album “Only To Rise.”
“The Wish” is a fantastic start to the album, featuring some tasty guitar licks from Lynch and powerful wails from the pipes of Sweet. The band then quickly move on to “Dying Rose” which has a more bluesy approach to it. As strong as this track was I feel it is too soon to go into this style.
Influences of both Stryper and Dokken are both present throughout this release, especially in the tracks “Time Will Tell” and “Recover.” One thing this reviewer enjoyed about this album is how the band move from that real 80s rock sound to a more chilled out, gospel sound. This style features in tracks like “Love Stays” and “Rescue Me” where the tones of an organ breathe throughout.
Two songs in particular caught my attention on this release. “Me Without You” is a masterpiece that features the use of beautiful vocal harmonies and delayed guitar riffs. It is definitely one of those songs where the listener canclose their eyes to and feel like they are on a cloud. The other is “September,” which was written in tribute to the tragedies that happened on September 11th, 2001. It is this track where the band truly shine, especially in the passion behind Sweet’s lyrics and vocals.
The album’s final tracks bring out a punchier sound, especially in “Strength In Numbers,” where the band use strong vocal harmonies and the sound of strings throughout. The album’s title track “Only To Rise” brings this album to a disappointing close as the track itself was sloppy, flat and featured a pointless drum outro.
When reviewing this album I had to approach it on neutral ground as I am a fan of Michael Sweet/Stryper but I am not a fan of George Lynch/Dokken. Despite these personal tastes the whole album does sound well: however I feel that the order of the songs could have been different as I feel the album is very disorganised.
What this reviewer really enjoyed about the album was the rhythm section which consists of James Lomenzo (ex-Megadeth) on bass guitar and Brian Tichy (ex-Whitesnake) – they are the real stars of the album to me. There iss an outstanding chemistry between every member featured in this release, I look forward to hopefully hearing more from them in the future.
Michael Sweet – Vocals
George Lynch – Guitar
James Lomenzo – Bass
Brian Tichy – Drums
1. The Wish
2. Dying Rose
3. Love Stays
4. Time Will Tell
5. Rescue Me
6. Me Without You
10. Strength In Numbers
12. Only To Rise