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Sweet Lynch: Only To Rise

Shhhh..... did I hear someone whisper super-group? Well to be fair the creators of Only To Rise haven't been making such assertions, yet with that tag bandied about very readily indeed these days, the joining of Stryper mainman Michael Sweet and Dokken/Lynch Mob linchpin George Lynch, alongside James Lomenzo (White Lion, Megadeth) and Brian Tichy (Whitesnake, Foreigner) has to be, at least, big news. Sweet and Lynch have long been talking up the possibility of the pair putting together some sort of project, the Stryper singer contributing a vocal to Lynch's T&N album a couple of years back. So has it been worth the wait? Undoubtedly. Only To Rise may not reinvent the wheel (would we have wanted it to?) and it isn't an album to immediately ram its charms down your throat, however in the realms of Melodic Hard Rock it will be one of the highlights 2015 throws out. Sweet's vocals are sublime, those high notes he's known for still very much in reach, while Lynch plunders his bag of tricks enough, but not too much, to ensure you know it's him all the way, without simply retreading old ground.

"The Wish" isn't the most obvious starting point, a mid paced stomper giving a low key introduction. However it's a grower and Lynch's solo is a sure fire winner. "Dying Rose" should keep Dokken-heads happy, a well known sound and style immediately obvious as Lynch hammers out a tasty riff as he fires out licks and tricks aplenty. Sweet handles the approach with ease, while Tichy proves his mettle, pounding out a beat that illustrates why he and Lomenzo are unsung heroes on this release. Other high spots arrive in the shape of the slow, beautifully delivered "Love Stays", the bluesy burst of "Divine", which finds Lynch divinely inspired as he tosses out fret work that other guitarists would die for, while "Hero To Zero" thrives on stabs of synth strings; giving an interesting latter day Europe feel.

As is almost the norm these days, much of OTR was composed and constructed across emails and file sharing and yet, with the talent on show, it certainly isn't something that comes through on either the individual performances or the songs themselves. Instead there's a real band feel here, a solidity to the songs and a fluidity that many of these long distance relationships often lack and it's something those involved should be proud of.

Recent years seem to have found Stryper busier than ever, while George Lynch appears to have flitted from project to project via solo releases. Hopefully the pair, in fact the quartet, can find the time to make Sweet Lynch a more permanent fixture on the Melodic Hard Rock scene. Only To Rise deserves to be much more than a quick one off.

Track Listing
1. The Wish
2. Dying Rose
3. Love Stays
4. Time Will Tell
5. Rescue Me
6. Me Without You
7. Recover
8. Divine
9. September
10. Strength In Numbers
11. Hero-Zero
12. Only To Rise

Added: February 15th 2015
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Sweet Lynch on Facebook
Hits: 1707
Language: english

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