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Newman: Siren

One of the unsung heroes of the UK melodic rock scene for a decade and a half now, Steve Newman has through a variety of bands illustrated his talents as a songwriter, guitarist and singer. However it is through the act which takes his name where those skills shine brightest. Siren is, unbelievably, Steve's ninth studio album as Newman and his second with melodic specialists AORHeaven. It is also an album which maintains the burning hot run of form the Englishman and his band has been on since 2010's simply stunning The Art Of Balance.

Cleverly Newman the band have never stuck to a formula, instead using the full array of colours available in the melodic rock sphere to offer up albums that vary enough from each other to have their own distinct characters, while being immediately distinguishable as the band they are. Siren is no exception, combining aspects of previous Newman efforts, while continuing to push into new ground. Resulting in an album that is both fresh and invigorating, while also sounding like the best friend you've known for many a year.

"Scar Of Love" starts things off in surprisingly scything fashion, with a machine gun riff and smack of drums leading into something veering into more metal than rock, Steve immediately laying down an authoritative vocal. However when the harmonies take over for the chorus, the welcome Newman trademark sound greets you with arms open. It is a great opener and while the urgency isn't quite repeated as you get to know the other tracks on Siren, the effect is the same. "Had Enough" infuses a staccato riff with an equally jabbing vocal, while "Arcadia" provides the first genuine sing along of the album, even while it takes the tempo down to melodic mid-paced swayer. Then factor in the brooding title track where an atmospheric verse alludes to Magnum, while a super melodic chorus offers up a far brighter mood, "Waiting For The Day" where the main riff ducks and dives and "Crossfire" which is fuelled by a punchy main riff, poised slow sections and another heartfelt vocal and Siren really is an eclectic yet focused collection which never hits wide of the mark.

Guitarist Shaun Bessant not only bolsters Steve's own guitar contribution, but through numerous fiery solos infuses Siren with a real sense of energy and vitality, while keyboard player Paul Boyle lays down the melody from which much of that guitar work springs from. However it is the contribution from new drummer Pete Newdeck (Eden's Curse - and vocalist in Tainted Nation) that really stands out, with his mix of no nonsense snare bursts and clever kick drum work adding a real weight to songs already capable of landing fairly and squarely in the memory banks.

If you've never sampled the delights that Newman have to offer, you really can delve into this band's catalogue at any stage and be impressed with what you find. However Siren is as good as anything Newman have produced before, if not better and on that basis what better starting point could you have?

Track Listing
1. Scar Of Love
2. Had Enough
3. Arcadia
4. Another Bitch Of A Night
5. Feel Her Again
6. Some Kind Of Wonderful
7. Siren
8. When It Comes To Love
9. Crossfire
10. Waiting For The Day
11. The Foolish One
12. Don't Know Why

Added: August 3rd 2013
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Newmna Online
Hits: 1733
Language: english

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