|Liberty & Justice Soundtrack Of A Soul||MTM Music|
American Christian rockers Liberty & Justice – or more precisely, the man behind the name; Justin Murr returned from exile in 2004 with an album that had moments of greatness, but too many other parts that just didn't work.|
The inclusion of several rap based lead vocals were the worst offenders among some modern hard rock influences.
Justin has learnt from those mistakes and the new album is better in every department.
The songwriting is stronger and the production is certainly of a higher quality and more consistent.
While the face of the band, Justin co-writes some of the music and provides some of the bass. The rest of the instrumentation and all lead vocals are provided by a long list of special guests.
It is this that leads the album to appear a little disjointed. Its predecessor suffered the same problem.
The album features some great songs but is enormously varied – from industrial to metal to AOR to acoustic – it still lacks a common bond to help it move from start to finish without too many bumps.
The rap elements have been dispensed with, but the album still features some modern elements that some won't take to. Thankfully though, there are still some great melodies and lead vocal performances to bridge the gap between modern and traditional hard rock.
What works within the album –
The aggressive opening modern rocker Kings Of Hollywood, with its semi-industrial vibe, has a thumping rhythm section and guitar riff, plus a forceful lead vocal from Ez Gomer of Jet Circus.
The very melodic and commercial Stage Of Grace features AOR favourite Russell Arcara who delivers another fine vocal. The track does sound a little out of place, but works.
Jamie Rowe never disappoints and his acoustic ballad also impresses.
Leif Garrett is one of the surprise guests of the album, His track – if this is possible – is an acoustic driven metal track which changes pace two or three times. It may not be the best track of the album, but it is certainly original.
The aggressive Starbreaker style hard rock Flinch featuring Tony Harnell is certainly a winner...there was never going to be much doubt there!
Mark Slaughter and Pete Loran (of Trixter) make an interesting pair and their track rocks with a good punch.
Always Tomorrow features a nice melodic vocal from Ted Poley, but is a little thin production wise.
What really doesn't work –
Surprisingly the Sebastian Bach fronted Another Nail sees him deliver a vocal that doesn't sound anything like his usual fare.
Grenade features Dale & Tony Thompson of Bride and is more or less just noisy metal and does my head in. Following on from a pure AOR track and an acoustic ballad, it seems lost at sea.
Oni Logan sounds great, but his song Show Me The Way lacks a decent hook.
And why, oh why can't Stephen Pearcy record anything remotely melodic anymore? What is his fascination with industrial noise? Killer Grin is another track avoid – unless you enjoyed Pearcy's last solo album.
Helping supply the music is Tommy Denander (of course), Tim Gaines, Mike Layne, Jamie Rowe, Sayit, Stephen DeAcutis, Mikkey Dee and more.
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