Revolution Saints cd review

Back in 2005 I was lucky enough to go and see Journey in New York on their 30th anniversary tour.
Playing for more than 3 hours with a setlist from across their career it was the first time that drummer Deen Castranovo had sang a lead vocal of note.On " Mother Father " and " Open Arms "  we were amazed at his voice and tone and had the crowd screaming for more.

After dipping his toes with a couple of tracks on this years Neal Schon cd " So U " we finally get to hear what the man can do over the course of a whole cd.

Revolution Saints (L-R): Jack Blades (bass, vocals), Deen Castronovo (lead vocals, drums), Doug Aldrich (guitar). Photo Credit: © Jeff Allen at Orion's Eye Photography

Joined by bass player and vocalist the legendary Jack Blades of Nightranger and Damn Yankees and on guitar in his first showing since his departure from Whitesnake Doug Aldrich. With on keys  Alessandro Dell Vecchio who also wrote and produced the cd Revolution Saints were born and after living with the cd for a month ,I have to say they have produced one of the finest cd's that this genre of music has seen for many a long year.

When I saw the first saw who was in Revolution Saints I was excited and thankfully my expectations have been matched and exceeded.

Wonderful vocals,huge riffs,pounding drums with so many fills,fiery guitar solos and most importantly huge choruses with world class vocals  that make you want to come back for more and all wrapped in a mix and production that sounds a million dollars.

Who does it sound like? Journey as you would expect and it could be maybe, should have been the cd that Journey made last time instead of " Eclipse " with every song that would and should have been singles back in the day and all over rock radio or MTV.
They were the days!!

Revolution Saints (L-R): Doug Aldrich (guitar), Deen Castronovo (lead vocals, drums), Jack Blades (bass, vocals). Photo Credit: © Jeff Allen at Orion's Eye Photography

From the opening riff of " Back On My Trail "  to the last piano note of " In The Name Of The Father " this is classic melodic hard rock played by guys who know what they want. They also show the world that this style of music can be exciting and vibrant  and very now and not stuck in the past.

" Back On My Trail " starts the cd in wonderful style all chopping Doug's melodic riff and Deen's powerhouse drumming driving the song. What I love about the whole cd is there are no boundaries. If they want an extra guitar solo or melodic guitar lead alongside the vocal or another drum fill then that is what is thrown in.Of course Deen shows the world what a great vocalist he is with a warm rich vocal line.

" Turn Back Time "  is the first single and if you have heard it you will know it is a prime Nightranger ,Damn Yankees and Journey anthemic rocker. A dual lead vocal with Jack this is a song made for driving down the freeway fast with the song blasting over the cd or radio. Doug again excels with his riff before a classic Doug solo that shows off his speed,dexterity and always melodic tone.Huge huge chorus and more immense drumming from Deen how does he do both at such a tempo? Some depth to the song is added by Alessandro's keyboards.
The first 2 songs are begging to open the live shows that we need to see.

" You're Not Alone " takes the pace down a little with a piano start before a mid paced ballad which features Deen's Journey vox Arnel Pineda on a dual lead vocal that shows how well the 2 guys compliment each other.A perfect Doug solo shows his class and it isn't all about being fast fingered.

" Locked Out Of Paradise " ups the pace with a true classic heavy duty rocker which is all Doug riff and Deen's driving drum style. Again the song has another chorus from heaven before Doug rips a solo that ends in a shred while the song ends with a Doug lead over Deen's vocal.Quite stunning.

" Way to The Sun " has an acoustic picked guitar beginning with a soulful Deen vocal that shows off his vocals to a tee .Even on a ballad like number there are plenty of Deen drumming extra fills and a huge Doug riff mid song.  Neal Schon guests with a tasteful guitar solo which is not just a flurry of notes like on the last Journey release.

" Dream On " ups the tempo again on a rocker written by Erik Martensson, Johan and Kris Becker, Alessandro and Jack Blades with another huge chorus that lets Deen's , let's say it,Steve Perry vocal style to shine through. He does sound like a cross between the 2 Steve's Perry and Augeri but if I'm honest at this time he outshines them both.

Revolution Saints (L-R): Doug Aldrich (guitar), Deen Castronovo (lead vocals, drums), Jack Blades (bass, vocals). Photo Credit: © Jeff Allen at Orion's Eye Photography

" Don't Walk Away " is a ballad that starts with a piano and Deen vocal that has a passion and quality that few can match.
 In my recent chat with Jack ( agreed with me that Deen really doesn't realise how good he is. Another ending with a guitar lead over Deen really pushing himself. Amazing that most of the vocals were done on the first take!!

" Here Forever " starts on another rich Deen vocal over keys before the guitar,bass and drums crash in on a mid paced rocker.Great use of the light and shade mid song before another stop start Doug riff while after the chorus Doug rips a lengthy solo in his own style. We then get more Deen and Doug trading of lines toward the end of the song.

" Strangers To This Life " is another rocker with some Alessandro Hammond organ giving the song a real depth and Doug's riff alongside Deen's drumming driving the song . Another chorus from the top drawer and Doug ripping another lengthy solo toward the end of the song.

" Better World " has plenty of keyboards alongside Doug's riff on a mid paced rocker which shows how the melody is so important and should never be forgotten. Deen's vocal on the stop start section before the chorus is incredible. More use of light and shade works well as they all crash back in.

" How To Mend A Broken Heart " is a cover of Eclipse's song from their " Are You Ready To Rock " cd and they have bettered the original with a near metal riff over classic Deen drumming histrionics before a layered vocal chorus that just kills!!Wonderful vocals over the Doug solo mid song. Lets hope via this song Eclipse's own stock rises as they deserve to.

" In The Name Of The Father ( Fernando's Song ) "  ends the cd on a magnificent epic piano led ballad that really showcases Deen's vocal quality that has been hidden too long. One note he holds for 5 seconds near the start and you just think wow!! Doug's just so guitar solo hits the mark and brings an end to a cd that has knocked spots off most cd's released over the last decade.

I have been fortunate to hear this album before the world has and that is a privilege when it is this good. It will make a lot of people's best of list for 2015 I will add it to my 2014 too.

Revolution Saints showcase Deen's vocal brilliance at long last but everyone shines. Doug Aldrich on his first cd showing since leaving Whitesnake shows he is up their with the very finest exponents in the game and Jack Blades will add to it a long list of career highs.

We now need some Revolution Saints live shows and hopefully more music in the future from a band with the world at their feet.

What a way to see out 2014 and see in 2015.

Quite majestic.

Released on CD, Deluxe Edition with bonus DVD,
Digital Download and 180 gram black vinyl.
European release by Frontiers Records: Friday 20th February 2015
UK release: Monday 23rd February 2015
US release: Tuesday 24th February 2015

And here is the first single " Turn Back Time " in all it's glory.


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