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Damon; Jesse: Temptation In The Garden Of Eve

With strong links to Kiss through a couple of co-writes and the odd bit of demoing with members of the band, and four previous solo albums under his belt, you might still better know guitarist and singer Jesse Damon from his main band over the years, Silent Rage. A hard hitting, yet melodic outfit, the Rage are one of those bands who arrived right at the wrong time, with their four classy albums failing to make the mark they truly deserved. However with his fifth effort on his own two feet, Damon takes things a little easier, a touch smoother and a mite more melodic, with most of the wordy Temptation In The Garden Of Eve album reminding of House Of Lords pomp, or seductive Paul Sabu. Therefore it is no surprise to discover that the latter not only lends a hand on the four thick stringed guitar, but that he also produces this album, his presence seemingly having quite a large say in how it's all turned out.

It will come as no surprise then, that long term Sabu watchers who worship the likes of Alexa, Only Child, or indeed Sabu will immediately find much to latch onto here, even though we are not really taking the classic standard those other acts reached. Actually truth be told, there's no getting round that TITGOE sounds, even in a genre stuck in a time-warp, a little dated, although possibly that was the point. The other new element for Damon solo effort number five, shows up in the guise of a new record label, with AOR Heaven now backing the Silent Rager. Although it has to be said that an unimaginative, copy and paste CD cover certainly does neither artist nor label any credit.

The more pompous, rambunctious Rockers are where this album works best, the James Christian like vocals of "I Need You Forever", or the "whoa whoa whoaing" "Let It Rock" thrusting their chest out in unapologetic style. All strut and pout and all the better for it. The less bombastic mid-paced "Garden Of Eve", while maybe not the most obvious opening number still rumbles along nicely, with the drums, courtesy of Pete Newdeck (Eden's Curse/Tainted Nation) impressing here and right across the whole album. However the slower thump of "Black Widow", where it becomes all too easy to sing Ozzy Osbourne's "Shot In The Dark" over the verse, reveals a weakness, with the excellent keyboard contributions from Eric Ragno, too prominent in the mix. Cranking up the cheese factor just a touch too much, even for a long standing Melodic Rocker like myself. Unfortunately it is a trait also found elsewhere, the intro to "Let It Rock" watered down and "Hold On" equally diluted and if I was being picky, the fact that much of this album is delivered at an easy, not too fast, not too slow pace, does mean that a few too many of the songs begin to merge in the memory.

That said, Temptation In The Garden Of Eve is a more than solid mix of Pomp and MHR, providing Damon with a good platform to show off his undoubted six string skills and rough, yet more than ready voice. Not a knock out album and there's little here trying to pretend you haven't heard it before, but it is all done very well. Long term Damon and Sabu fans will lap it up.

Track Listing
1. Garden Of Eve
2. Black Widow
3. Save The World
4. I Need You Forever
5. Save Me
6. A Chance For Us
7. Let It Rock
8. Angel In The Starlight
9. Hold On
10. Little Angel
11. Wishing Well

Added: September 21st 2013
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: The Official Jesse Damon WebSite
Hits: 2314
Language: english

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