Z Records ZRCD 1997
Produced by: Scott Gorham

Released: OUT / Website
Closest Relative: Thin Lizzy
GENRE: Hard Rock

  1. No Soul
  2. Underground
  3. Kings Vengeance
  4. Come On In
  5. U & I
  6. Nothing's Real
  7. Movin' On
  8. Mister Mofo
  9. Wolves
  10. The Otherside
  11. Slam The Hammer*
  12. The Picture*
  13. Blood Gone Bad*
  14. Cold Heart*
  15. Dear Mother*
  16. House Of Cards*
    * Bonus Tracks

Here is a reprint of sorts of my original review of the 21 Guns album, from it's Japanese release 18 months or so back.
I have made a few edits and changes, as the album has actually grown on me more over that time....

It's been another case of major label screwing that caused 21 Guns from ever doing bigger things than they did.
Their debut from several years ago was nothing short of astounding. The songs were glorious and the melodies and moody ballads just magic. The rockers weren't bad either!
But unfortunately 21 Guns did not quite survive intact, and in their current form, they have a new vocalist. In comes ex-Psycho Motel and Sons Of Angels vocalist Solli. The great Scott Gorham still covers the guitars.
The few years break has also changed the sound of 21 Guns a little. They are still great melodic rockers and still as powerful as ever in their delivery, but this time a little more towards a 90's feel.
There are two things that have disappointed me with this album, although it still remains a very good solid album.
I don't think the songs are quite as strong as the debut and I don't think Solli is as good a singer as the awesome Thomas La Verdi.
The opener is as good as anything on the album - a good strong melodic rock track, as good as anything from the Sons Of Angels album.
King's Vengeance, a cover of the Thin Lizzy track is also a highlight.
Come On In is a solid mid paced rock track, and U & I is probably the pick of the album. This is the closest the band come to the brilliance of the debut.
Moving On is another melodic highlight.
Apart from that, the other tracks are pretty much good solid hard rock, that grow on you with repeated listens.
The sound is a little 21 Guns, a little Sons Of Angels and a little 90's European rock.
The bonus tracks don't necessarily make the album an essential re-purchase for holders of the original, but they are interesting and even for demo's, quite good.
The best part is the inclusion of 3 demo's from the first album Salute, meaning we get a dose of unreleased stuff from La Verdi.
The Cold Heart demo is in fact the Japanese bonus track from the Salute release.
BOTTOM LINE: As far as this version goes, it certainly comes up better than the Japanese release did and the bonus tracks make for an interesting incentive.
The album itself doesn't reach the greatness of the debut, but is still of a high enough standard that most hard rock fans should own it. Especially if you haven't started your 21 Guns collection off or couldn't afford the original Japanese release.
ESSENTIAL FOR: All Gorham, Solli, Sons Of Angels fans and fans of good modern melodic hard rock.
DISCOGRAPHY:Salute . Nothing's Real

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