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Acacia Avenue: Cold

A man with many strings to his guitar, Fatal Force, Fate, Decoy, Section A, solo guitarist Torben Enevoldsen returns to Acacia Avenue after four years concentrating on his many other projects. The very fact that AOR Heaven are putting their name behind this one should give you an inkling of where AA's musical heart lies, with Enevoldsen citing the likes of Toto, Winger, Survivor, Boston and Dokken as inspirations for this aspect of his musical psyche. And it shows, for from start to finish Cold walks the line marked AOR and 80's early-90s Rock and it does it well.

So who else is in Acacia Avenue? Well with Enevoldsen handling guitars, bass, some keys and backing vocals, that only leaves room for drummer (and regular Enevoldsen sticksman) Dennis Hansen, and keyboard player Lars Frandsen-Melau. However as with the first AA album the extra interest arrives in the shape of a whole host of guest singers, ranging through Steve Newman (Newman), Peter Sundell (Grand Illusion and Decoy), Torben Lysholm (Pangea), Albin Ljungqvist, Michael Roupe (Bamboo Brothers), Niklas Sonne (Defecto) and Rob Moratti (Moratti and ex-Saga). It's an impressive list and one sure to rightly make many a Melodic Rock fan sit up and take note. However in ways the guest list also overshadows everything else, with the Steve Newman fronted "Time" and "Angelina" sounding like Newman, the grittier "You And I" where Mikael Roupe steps up, hitting like the Toto inspired West Coast of Bamboo Brothers, while "Signs Of Love" with Rob Moratti behind the mic simply reminds of Moratti - it is excellent though. That said some vocalists are taken out of their comfort zone, the Sundell sung "Freedom From Doubt" hitting like a heavy Purple'd outburst and "Out Of The Business" squeezing a more aggressive performance from Roupe. In truth it could be seen as simply utilising the strengths of each performer to the max and it's a sound argument, however for me it leaves Cold struggling a little for a cohesive voice (pun intended) of its own.

Cold is a solid and hugely enjoyable Melodic Rock album with varied outlooks and some cracking vocal performances, while the guitar work from Enevoldsen is never anything short of hugely impressive. It may be a little safe in places, however ranked alongside the majority of the output from the likes of Escape Records, Frontiers and indeed AOR/Metal Heaven, it can more than hold its own. If that's the scene you're into, this is an album you should have on your radar.

Track Listing
1. Time
2. Love Will Survive
3. It's Over
4. Out Of The Business
5. Mean Street City
6. Cold
7. Angelina
8. You And I
9. Calling Out
10. How Many Nights
11. Freedom From Doubt

Added: June 15th 2014
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: AOR Heaven online
Hits: 1671
Language: english

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