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Ride the Sky: New Protection

Nobody makes a big deal about supergroups anymore. Perhaps that's because so many musicians lend themselves to multiple projects these days, and most of those projects just don't seem to hold the interest of listeners (or boast the longevity) they way supergroups of yore once did.

Boasting five musicians who collectively have played on more than 70 albums, the progressive/power metal band Ride the Sky has plenty of potential: a mythical name and guys with résumés that include Helloween, Masterplan, Tears of Anger, Beyond Twilight, Dionysus and Stormwind. New Protection is rife with riffs, crisp and punchy songs and a professional but clinical demeanor that makes these 11 tracks sound a tad too derivative. In fact, many songs — especially the title track, "Silent War," "Heaven Only Knows," "The Prince of Darkness" and "Corroded Dreams" — could pass for Helloween, Masterplan or Dionysus cuts, in large part because Tears of Anger singer Bjorn Jansson's voice carries many Jorn-like qualities.

There is nothing inherently wrong with New Protection, as members of Ride the Sky do what they do extremely well. But, if the term is applied literally, Ride the Sky is not quite a "super group."

Track Listing:
1) New Protection
2) A Smile From Heaven's Eye
3) Silent War
4) The Prince of Darkness
5) Break the Chain
6) Corroded Dreams
7) The End of Days
8) Far Beyond the Stars
9) Black Cloud
10) Heaven Only Knows
11) A Crack in the Wall

Added: August 12th 2008
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Ride the Sky on
Hits: 3929
Language: english

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Ride the Sky: New Protection
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2008-01-11 09:27:15
My Score:

When I read that Ride The Sky was a new Power Metal "super group" I had high levels of anticipation about who could possibly be in the lineup to make it deserve such a regal title for as many Metal fans are aware this term itself is sometimes truly misused. Historically we have found super groups forming and one such example is Whitesnake and of course this made perfect sense since the band had a roster from Deep Purple, Dio, Quiet Riot, Vandenberg and Ozzy Osbourne. Yet in recent years we have found the label also being used for the garbage that was Rockstar: Supernova, that horrid television band with Tommy Lee, Gilby Clarke and Jason Newsted in its lineup. So where does this new super group fall in comparison to these widely opposite sides of the musical fence? To me this is no super group but instead a group of superb and talented musicians who were at one time associated with venerated super powers in the Power Metal genre, and I will leave it at that. Truth be told, this band offers up some really tasty Power Metal and it's not too over the top and allows those who seek an introduction into the format a safe haven that might have them looking deeper into it as opposed to running off to listen to bands like Daughtry and Nickelback. So just who makes up Ride The Sky, well we have Bjorn Jansson (vocals), Uli Kusch (drums), Benny Jackson (guitars), Kaspar Dahlqvist (keyboards) and Mathias Garnas (bass) and together they do some serious justice to the music. Their biography information lines out their stellar pasts as part of the genres history as players for bands such as Masterplan, Gamma Ray, Stormwind, Circle II Circle, and Tears Of Anger among many others and between them have contributed to over 70 releases. Drummer Kusch has 25 of these releases to his own credit and that is one hell of an accomplishment so perhaps he is the main super power in the lineup when you look at it from that perspective. Musically this sounds on many levels like that of Masterplan and this is not a bad thing considering the bands reputation and Kusch's long association with them. I also felt that Bjorn reminded me of David Coverdale at some points in the material.

From beginning to end the band is tight and it's essentially quite the feel good Power Metal release with energetic riffs and drumming behind rousing chorus sections. Essentially, if you are someone that likes all of the traditional elements of the genre then this is a perfect band for you as they hit the target again and again. There is a good chance that this debut will find them reaching new heights and a larger level of appeal over time. There is fluid guitar wizardry that is reminiscent of Yngwie on tracks like "A Crack In The Wall" and "The Prince Of Darkness" while songs like "New Protection" and "Silent War" have this real eighties Metal vibe happening that struck familiar chords in my own Metal mind. It's never bad when a newer band makes you reflect on bands of the past and while there are those who would dismiss a band for that reason I must ask them to use better judgement when it comes to Ride The Sky for there is much more in the way of satisfying tracks on this one. I admit that I was pretty impressed and given the amount of Power Metal that I listen to that's a good thing. There is a lot of it, and the bands need to always come up with something a little bit different when they choose to serve it to us. With Ride The Sky the menu was melody, consistency and depth and when cooked together for the duration of the album the listener can sit back and exclaim – "tasty". Give this one a go if you are looking for a reliable sounding record that makes no excuses about what they are aiming to do.

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