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Sign, The: The Second Coming

In 2000, The Sign - a supergroup of sorts comprised of former members of lost-Eighties bands like Streets, Strangeways, Zebra and Drive, She Said - released Signs of Life, a melodic hard rock gem of an album that recaptured the complex layers of harmonies, walls of melodies and ambitious guitar solos of a bygone era while bordering on the progressive.

Four years later, The Sign has rotated a few members and released The Second Coming. The core lineup of vocalist/keyboardist/drummer Mark Mangold and vocalists/guitarists Terry Brock and Randy Jackson is now augmented with guitarists/bassists John Bivona from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Mark Hermann. Unfortunately, these 15 songs - which flow seamlessly together and once again form a concept based on the story of a girl named Aryon awaking from a coma - are not as strong as practically any track on Signs of Life. In fact, all but "Aryon Overture," "Shine," "Black Mountain," "Keep On Breathin'" and the bonus track "Maniac" lack the memorable catchiness of the debut. And The Sign probably would have never even touched such dreadful material as "Motorcycle Messiah" or "The Ooze" four years ago.

I'm not sure what happened with this outfit, as the original version of The Sign (which also featured Kansas bassist Billy Greer and sought-after session drummer Bobby Rondinelli) recorded one of the strongest albums of the year in any genre. Sadly, The Second Coming doesn't offer a repeat performance.

Track Listing:
1) Aryon overture (1:45)
2) Stained (Gone) (4:46)
3) The Morning After (Time To Run) (5:16)
4) Motorcycle Messiah (3:30)
5) Shine (3:00)
6) Bliss (2:06)
7) If For One Moment (3:14)
8) Flame of the Oracle (4:03)
9) The Ooze (1:52)
10) Inner Child (Exorcise) (2:48)
11) Black Mountain (3:48)
12) Keep On Breathin' (4:43)
13) Shine (Finale) (6:57)
14) Rapture (Ode To Aryon) (2:53)
15) Maniac (5:06)
Total Time: 55:49

Added: November 23rd 2004
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Frontiers Records
Hits: 2322
Language: english

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