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Crown Of Thorns Faith Frontiers Records
FRCD386
· Produced By: Jean Beauvoir

· Running Time: 47.49

· Release Date: Out Now

· Released:

· Musical Style: Melodic Rock/AOR

· Links: Frontiers
92%
Songs: 92%
Sound: 92%
It has been a few years between drinks for Crown Of Thorns and I think some even questioned if there would be another album. The band has had a somewhat varied career in regards to their album output. At times classic, at times delivering a few too many fillers in-between glimpses of brilliance). Recorded with a million dollar advance budget, the band's debut is one of this genre's all time classics and I think few disagree with that.
Karma and Lost Cathedral is where the band has got it right and Breakthrough and Destiny Unknown are where I think they missed the mark a little. On Faith I think the band delivers the goods once again and matches the quality of Lost Cathedral, making this their best album since 1998.
However, it isn't quite the album I expected either. It is a fairly laid back release all things considered and those looking to hear a record with the edge of the debut may be disappointed. What the guys have done right is the production – this is a great sounding release with a big sound and the mix is perfectly balanced.
The songs themselves are also all quality. As stated, the direction and general pace of the album overall might disappoint some, but there is no doubt these are some wonderfully smooth and melodic AOR tracks. They also reveal several layers of vocals and instrumentation on repeated listens.
The opening rocker Faith has that classic COT sound and that crunchy guitar riff that could have been used a little more through the album and All In My Heart is a pleasant uptempo melodic rocker.
The double headed delivery of the ballads Living In The Shadows and The One perhaps slows the momentum of the opening half of the album, but they are still great songs.
Living In The Shadows is slow ballad with a good chorus and The One is class AOR. The crunch returns with the old school sounding Rock Ready – the album could perhaps have used another couple of tracks in this vein.
Another ballad already with the big AOR anthem Believe Me. And despite the pace slowing again, this is an album highlight and wonderful sentimental ballad with a killer chorus. Is it just me – or does the volume of the next song Nobody drop in volume? A dull track at any rate unfortunately.
Stay With Me picks the tempo up again and features a memorable chorus.
All I Want to do is yet another ballad, but again…a great one. Lush production and a killer chorus make it another AOR highlight.
Rocking again with the track Home Again, which reminds me of the Lost Cathedral album at its best. The chorus is pure AOR.
The album closes with yet another slow ballad and again the band delivers, but it is a case of too many ballads lessening the impact of this track.
The Bottom Line
Faith maybe a little concentrated on slow-mid tempo tunes, but I can only find one track that doesn't work for me of the 12 on offer. The rest – be them rocking or crooning – are all AOR of the highest quality and I rate the release highly for that reason. It may not be the album to play if in the mood for a rock-out, but if the mood does call for something a little softer in a classic AOR theme, then Faith delivers.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
· Crown Of Thorns
· Breakthrough
· Lost Cathedral
· Destiny Unknown
· Karma
· Faith

Line Up:
· Jean Beauvoir: Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
· Tommy Laffery: Guitars
· Hawk Lopez: Drums
· Michael Paige: Bass

Essential For Fans Of:
· Jean Beauvoir
· Crown Of Thorns - Lost Cathedral
Track Listing
· Faith *
· All In My Head
· Living In The Shadows
· The One *
· Rock Ready *
· Believe Me *
· Nobody
· Stay With Me
· All I Wanna Do *
· Home Again *
· All Or Nothing

--*Best Tracks


08/01/09: Marco - marco_kootkar@hotmail.com
Rating: 6
I have been looking forward to this release for a long time.
I'm a big fan of most of Jeans previous work with Voodoo X,the Thorns debut and Lost Cathedral as the ultimate highlights.
When i first heard the sound clips on MR.com i had a bad feeling about the album.
When i first heard the entire album that feeling didn't go away it just got worse.
The main issue here is that the vocal melodies do not appeal to me.Its like i've heard evey line before on one of Jeans previous records,the vocals just don't rock.I mean a driving rock track needs a driving rock vocal that blends in with the music and adds that extra melodie that makes a song stand out.It just isn't there,the vocals seam to go against the drive of the song instead.This was also the case on last COT album.
The only songs i like on this album are All in my head and Rock ready and that is just not enough.

14/10/08: Paul Melling - mellingp@hotmail.com
Rating: 65
Crown of Thorns on form are for me the perfect melodic rock band..melody,hooks,style,power and excellent vocals.

I was waiting with anticipation for this new release and have had it over a week now so the songs are reasonably familiar to me after 5 or 6 plays. Faith starts off in fine style with the beginning of the title track,which unfortunately loses it´s way..in keeping with the album as a whole i´m afraid.I am very disappointed with this album,and i wanted so much to like it.

Firstly,unless my copy is of poor quality,the sound is so weak..almost as though it has been scrubbed clean many times in production/mixing. Hawk´s drums sound powerless and tinny,almost as though they were added on way down the mix..where is the snare? There is also a distinct lack of depth to the overall sound,not helped by the mix but also seemingly due to a shallow bass sound.

Songwise,there are some good tunes on this album..but not enough to put it in the same bracket as Karma or Lost Cathedral.
Jean´s voice is as usual excellent and there are some awesome guitar solos in evidence on Faith but the sound lets the album down..too sanitised and over-produced.

What a shame if this is the last COT album because they can and should be much better than this.

01/10/08: Darren D - starchild72@bigpond.com
Rating: 93
Please read my FULL review here www.myspace.com/crownsozarmy.

Its too long to post here sorry.


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