Revolution Saints: Self Titled review

Anytime another so called super group comes together there is cause for trepidation. You see, sometimes even when the biggest names in music get together the end result can still fall short of the hype behind it. Thankfully that is not the case at all with the Revolution Saints. The band is comprised of Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake/Dio) on guitar, Jack Blades (Night Ranger/Damn Yankees) on bass and vocals and Deen Castronovo (Journey/Bad English) on drums and lead vocals. It may be early, but their self titled debut for Frontiers Records Revolution Saints will undoubtedly be a contender for AOR album of the year, maybe even the decade. The album was produced by Alessandro Del Vecchio (Hardline), who also supplied keyboards. For years Frontiers President Serafino Perugino has been trying to put together a project that would feature Deen Castronovo on lead vocals. Those of you that have heard Deen sing the Journey classic “Mother Father” live know exactly why that is. While everyone recognizes Castronovo as an accomplished and highly respected drummer, few are aware of his prowess as a vocalist and he laid down all his vocal tracks in a mere ten days. For those of you that actually go out and buy it instead of download or stealing it outright (Bad music fan), there is a bonus DVD that contains a documentary as well as videos for tracks 1,2,5 & 8. The album kicks off strong with ”Back On My Trail.” It and tracks like “Here Forever” flash back musically to another Frontiers project called Soul Sirkus that featured Castronovo, Jeff Scott Soto and Neal Schon. At the same time, songs like lead single “Turn Back Time,” that features a killer vocal trade off with Jack Blades and “Dream On” immediately sound like lost tracks from the last two Journey albums. The latter of the two was co-written by Erik Martensson of Frontiers label mates Eclipse. Speaking of Eclipse, the disc also contains a cover of the Eclipse song “How to Mend a Broken Heart” that winds up being one of the heaviest on the album. Tracks like “Locked Out of Paradise,” “Strangers to This life” and “Better World” are bound to raise the obvious Steve Perry vocal comparisons and showcase some of Doug Aldrich’s most sinister guitar work to date, while “You’re Not Alone” is a powerhouse duet with Arnel Pineda of Journey that musically recalls Castronovo’s time with 80’s rockers Bad English. The affair has three slower numbers as well. “Way to the Sun” is a heart wrenching acoustic piece that is underpinned by a beautiful string section and given a massive punch in the chorus & solo courtesy of Journey cohort Neal Schon and “Don’t Walk Away” and “In the Name of the Father” are majestic piano ballads that are destined to one day be held in the same high regard as the Journey monster hits “Open Arms” and “Faithfully.” Here’s the bottom line. This is as close to perfect as it gets. Rating: 9.5/10 -Eric Hunker