Suffice to say that Neal Schon was right: it really rocks!
It seems like every Journey album since ‘Raised On Radio’ has been prefaced by guitarist Neil Schon claiming that it’s going to be a full-on rock album, only for the finished article (excepting perhaps the poorly produced ‘Generations’) to be the usual ballad-heavy affair – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing as no-one does ballads like Journey does. However, I’m sure the news has already leaked out that they’ve only gone and done it this time, Schon obviously getting his wish with ‘Eclipse’ and giving you more riffs and notes for your buck than ever before.
Opener ‘City Of Hope’ is a statement of intent. Built upon great guitar parts and an uplifting arrangement, it’s a rocking opener that still doesn’t scrimp on melody with Arnel Pineda delivering his gorgeous melody lines without a hint of an accent. In the great tradition of Journey opening tracks it hooks you in and will stick in your head for weeks, the rock-out ending and shredding Neal Schon solo being the icing on the cake. ‘Edge Of The Moment’ continues in a similar vein with subtle, cheese-free hooks, loads of guitar and a chorus that takes a while to get your head around because it’s so un-Journey-like. If that’s a shocker then ‘Chain Of Love’ will be even more so, Jon Cain’s gentle piano and Pineda’s Perry-esque vocal soon giving way to one of the heaviest riffs that the band have ever come up with. The combination of Schon’s guitar and Cain’s keys parts are reminiscent of the darker songs on the ‘Frontiers’ album and Cain adds real menace to some of the instrumental sections whilst the dark vocal melodies leave no chance of it ever becoming a single.
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