By Dark Starr
This album sometimes leans toward heavy metal. It’s probably best described as “alternative rock,” though, whatever that really means. There are some extremely strong tracks here, along with some that don’t stand quite so tall. Sometimes it falls prey to being over-produced. Other parts are a bit generic and predictable. Still, this is quite an admirable and effective release. If you like your music with a modern hard rock edge and catchy hooks, this is definitely for you.
The first track is titled “Stay,” and the powerhouse rocking riff that opens it is great stuff. When the vocals come in, though, it feels a bit overproduced. Still, the epic metal kind of vibe on the chorus makes up for it. There is a fast paced almost technical metal turned nu-metal section later. “If I Ever” is a stomping modern rocker. It could qualify as nu-metal, I suppose, but I think it’s more just hard rock. It’s catchy and pretty cool.
With a healthy dosage of 1980s pop rock in the mix, “Sanctuary” is more of a modern alternative rocker blended with nu-metal. It’s a little trite and overproduced. It’s got some catchy hooks and some intriguing moments, though. The bridge really brings that 80s thing home and works really well. To my ears “Fortune and Pride” seems to have a lot of The Call and The Cure built into it. It’s definitely filled with the sound of that era. However, it still has a modern edge to it. I love this piece. It’s quite possibly the best number here.
“Memory” is another standout, tune. It has a great groove and killer hooks. The production is modern nu-metal, but it works well. The balance between mellower and more rocking on the cut is effective. This is another I like a lot.
As good as the last couple pieces were, “Rediscover” is even better. It starts with an intricate balladic motif. The vocals lend a lot of emotion as they join to move the song forward. It powers out after a while into a more rocking jam that’s more in line with the rest of the set. This title track brings variety and class.
The next couple tracks, “Young Hearts: and “Control” land in the territory of predictable and just sort of competent, but not much more. They just don’t stand as tall as a lot of the rest of the music here.  The closer is better, though. That song bears the title “Pied Piper,” and the vocals on it bring a real aggressiveness, at times punky and extreme. There are hints of the Cure in some of the guitar textures on the cut. Overall, it is quite a potent and powerful cut. It’s not the best thing here, but it’s darned good.