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TNT: A Farewell To Arms

It would be fair to suggest that the previous two TNT albums A New Territory and Atlantis met with a less than favourable reception, with an at times bizarrely eclectic mix confusing and in some cases angering the band's long term fans. With these two albums also being the only two TNT offerings to feature one time Siam, Shy, Serpentine (the list goes on) frontman Tony Mills, he too has come in for some hefty criticism, but it is only fair to point out, that Mills has only been able to sing the songs that the band's main songwriter and guitarist Ronnine LeTekro has served up.

So what does album number three with Mills - A Farewell To Arms (which goes under the more straight forward title of Engine in Scandinavia) have to offer? Well I'm glad to say that the first thing apparent is that it is a more straight forward listen, which does show more than the odd nod to TNT's past sound and while it does still veer off on more than a few tangents,is far more likely to appease the long suffering fans.

Opener "Engine" is a great start, with the sort of riff that LeTekro used to tear out with ease and in truth, this song wouldn't be out of place on the band's classic Knights Of The New Thunder album, with the title track also having that unmistakable early TNT vibe. "Don't Misunderstand Me" keeps the melodic rock flowing and has a verse that strongly reminds of "Into The Fire" by Dokken, with the brooding guitar and bass lines making for a great counterpoint to the bright chorus. Sprinkled throughout all these songs are little guitar motifs and breaks that really illustrate that TNT have made a considered attempt to shift their sound back into the territory that they are best known and loved for and to be fair have done so in some style. However in the spirit of their last two albums, there is still the odd curve ball thrown in to the mix, with the thumping beat and vocal melodies of "Someone Else" coming on like Abba let loose with a distortion pedal and the melancholic album closer "God Natt, Marie" almost sounding like a Christmas carol! Add to that "Come", which has a solo Joe Satriani would be proud of and you are still left with a slightly confusing mix, although nothing as scatter gun as what we've come to expect from this band. Having said that any album that has a couple of tracks as strong as the spiralling riffed "Barracuda" and "Take It Like A Man Woman!" which not only sounds like it should come from the band's Tell No Tales album, but also sees Ronnie explode over the fret board in mesmerising fashion has to be taken seriously. Mills as ever puts in a breath taking performance, but in the same way as his other efforts with TNT, I still think the production could be kinder to him, as all too often he seems to be far too much in the forefront of things and even with his astounding voice, it does leave him slightly separated from the music on the odd occasion.

A Farewell To Arms is undoubtedly TNT's strongest album with Tony Mills and probably for a considerable time longer than that and while there are still some unneeded swerves off course, it is an album that long time devotees to the band are going to pleasantly surprised by.

Track Listing
1. Engine
2. Refugee
3. Ship In The Night
4. Take It Like A Man Woman!
5. Come
6. Barracuda
7. A Signature On A Demon's Self Portrait
8. Don't Misunderstand Me
9. A Farewell To Arms
10. Someone Else
11. God Natt, Marie

Added: January 2nd 2011
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: TNT Official Web Site
Hits: 2796
Language: english

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