THE MIGHTY ONE - “Torch Of Rock And Roll”
By Dark Starr
The story of this act is interesting, and most of it is captured in the lyrics to the title track. The extremely short version is that front-man Tim Steinruck saw his dreams of being a rocker shattered when, after getting a recording contract, grunge took over the world, and hard rock like he was doing was sidelined. Well, fast forward to the modern day, and the music scene has changed, and his chance, with a different band, is back on track. I have landed this under heavy metal, but it's not a perfect fit. Not everything here is metal, and you might consider it hard rock, but I'll stick by my classification. Whatever you call this, it is a particularly strong release with only one track I found lacking.
After a mellower introductory section, "Coming On" fires out into a fierce, metal meets alternative rock vibe. This somewhat calls to mind GODSMACK. It's more metallic than that, though. There is an almost epic metal anthemic break before it all drops down to be reborn. The metal screaming intro on the title track drops down, leaving us with a melodic rock movement that's not quite ballad, but not far from it. The first verse is all about the band KISS. It powers back up for the chorus. The balance between more rocking and mellower modes works well as this all continues. The whole thing is the story of a journey through rock music. In fact, that story is the tale of this band.
With powerhouse blasts of metallic textures, "So High" is an anthemic, melodic rocker. It has some great hooks and a lot of style. Up-tempo and fierce, "Disruptor" really does qualify as melodic metal as far as I'm concerned. It's a powerhouse that has some real meat on its bones. Another with great hooks and riffs, "Burden" definitely walks the fine line between heavy metal and alternative rock. I'd say that parts land distinctly on the metal side of that equation.
Driving metal merges with alternative rock on "Master Of Reality." This is both accessible and fierce. It's a great combination of the metal concepts with more catchy sounds. There are some dark dropped down sections that bring some real drama and a sense of mystery.
"Darker Side Of Me" is the one track that misses the mark for me. The balance between mellower, almost balladic and rocking bursts is pretty cool, but the cut is too generic. In fact, I'd say that it makes me think of NICKELBACK to some degree, and that's not a good thing for me. Still, one weak tune on a disc of strong stuff is not bad.
Things get back on track with "My Garden." More of a hard rocking stomper, there is a lot of bluesy rock and roll in the mix. It's not far removed from this like BLACK CROWES and AC/DC. This is a killer tune that is among the strongest music here. There is a metal edge to some of it, too.
"Kickin’ Stones" comes in with a balladic concept, right down to the piano. The chorus is hard-edged metallic texture. This is a cool tune that has a classic power ballad kind of approach. I really love the powerhouse guitar solo section on the track. That brings it well into a metal zone. As the extended instrumental outro continues, it really does turn decidedly metal. Another fast paced stomper, the energy and groove of the closing "When This Is Over" is screaming hot. It is a timely song, talking about getting past the Covid pandemic.