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BETWEEN WORLDS Between Worlds

By Jay Roberts, Massachusetts Contributor
Monday, October 18, 2021 @ 1:39 PM


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BETWEEN WORLDS
Between Worlds

Frontiers Music Srl - 2021




For me, the main selling point of buying this CD was because it lists "feat. RONNY MUNROE" on the album cover. The former METAL CHURCH singer is a vocalist I happen to enjoy quite a bit so when I saw the release news for the self-titled album from BETWEEN WORLDS, I knew I wanted to hear it.

But the first time I listened to the album, I have to say that I was pretty taken aback. As with a lot of project releases from the Frontiers label, the back cover features the note: "Produced by Alessandro Del Vecchio. A project by Serafino Perugino." That tag usually leads others to the claim that all the Frontiers albums sound the same. I don't subscribe to that theory, but when I first listened to the disc, I found myself initially thinking that for some reason, these songs felt a bit off. Whether the music felt somehow lesser or the mix of the music (heavy on keys, though still full of uptempo rock as well) with Ronny's vocals didn't quite feel matched up properly, I almost decided to not review the disc.

Feeling I might not have given the album a fair shake, I've been spending a lot of time with it and I'm happy to say that my first impressions were off quite a bit. The entire album was co-written by Del Vecchio, guitarist Pete Alpenborg and Ronny Munroe and once you get past the what I thought was the quite lacking power ballad "Scent Of An Angel", the album is actually filled up with a lot of hard driving rockers that combine the individual players into a whole unit in such a way that you can't help getting a charge each time you play the album.

While Pete Alpenborg is credited with playing guitar and keyboards on the album, it is ex-SAVATAGE guitarist Jack Frost who played lead guitar on the album. In fact, there were a few guest appearances from SAVATAGE members throughout the Between Worlds disc. Chris Caffery played lead on "Scent Of An Angel" and "No Escape". The latter track featured Johnny Lee Middleton on bass too. Oh, and TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA/WHITESNAKE guitarist Joel Hoekstra shows up playing the lead on "Soul Chaser".

But how did those other tracks end up playing out in my mind? Well, the opening number is the title track and that is probably the one track I really liked from the very first listen. I thought the music overshadowed the vocal track from Munroe at times but overall, this was a solid rock number.

The songs "These Walls", "Times Of Change" and "Life Enough For Me" are all decent tracks with that last song featuring a nice twist in Munroe's vocal delivery on the song title in the lyrics. The song "Flip The Script" is slightly slower in tempo but still pretty lively.

"No Escape" became a track I now think of as an album highlight. It is fast paced and crackling with an electric immediacy. Also, while I know Joel Hoekstra didn't write "Soul Chaser", being a fan of his playing I loved his guitar playing on the track.

The opening intro to "Beautiful Disaster" and the song's solo really stood out for me and that let the song really grow on me over time.

The album closes out with two more standard bearing type songs in "Beneath The Surface" and "Calm Before The Storm". I don't know the inspiration behind "Beneath The Surface" but as I listened to the lyrics, the first thing that came to mind was that it would make a great track to include on the soundtrack for the new movie version of Dune. For some reason, it just conjured up that science fiction tale in my mind. As for "Calm Before The Storm", I found the song's tempo to be anything but calm and a flat out rocking number that became a truly fitting way to bring the album to a close.

So while at first I thought the Between Worlds album was going to be one of the few disappointments I've heard from the Frontiers label, I was clearly wrong. It took me a few spins to really dig into the music but it was well worth the time invested because as it turned out, BETWEEN WORLDS is quite an entertaining project and I hope to hear from Ronny Munroe and company in the future.

3.8 Out Of 5.0


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