I must say the band has done it again:
Frontiers records is the home of underrated musical acts, but their champion band has released an incredible masterpiece without the help of Steve Perry (not like they ever needed it).
The new original songs are anthem’s in themselves, almost like an Appetite for Destruction minus the raunchiness. Neal Schon is better than ever with his amazing solos and rhythmical riffs and melodic genius, just like the Journey we all remember. The second veteran, Ross Valery, was just mind boggling on his bass, second only to the multi-talented performance delivered by the legendary Jonathan Cain. Castronovo has risen above the expectations set even by Steve Smith, showing that the four have an unbeatable chemistry proven by their long standing time defining what Journey is about, ten times that in this masterwork.
Unfortunately, one thing to keep in mind regarding Pineda. His singing is
good; I mean, he can hit all the high notes (even better than Augeri by a long shot), but the accent stood out more in this album than in Revelations before. Many musicians (specifically non-American) have ease masking their accents in their songs, but Arnel, in this album, did sound more like a Filipino Karaoke singer. I mean, for some reason, I couldn’t tell the difference between him and Steve (audio-wise) in Revelation, but now it sounded like River Maya was covering Journey songs. That’s not to be Xenophobic, but sometimes it’s best to sing in your own language (I’d probably sound like Yoko Ono in Tagalog or Cebuano).
Nevertheless, this album displayed a true sense of power, passion, and was the true definition of Progressive (or in Pineda’s case, anti-progressive). For any die hard Journey fan, it’s a must have. If you hate the Oranges and Lemons sound, stay the hell away.