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Stairway: Interregnum

It has been four yours since the Christian pomp rock of Stairway has graced us with its presence and after listening to their fifth album Interregnum; it would be fair to suggest that the wait has been too long. The trio have a sound that straddles the grandiose storytelling of Magnum and Saracen, with the rawer more rugged edge of classic NWOBHM. The band consists of Graeme Leslie on bass and lead vocals, Pete Jennens who plays guitar and drummer Andy Edwards, individually all three are impressive with Leslie possessing a gruff, yet engaging voice, Jennens firing out a barrage of solid riffs and dextrous solos, while Edwards locks into the bass grooves perfectly and elevates the songs with his rock solid beats and intricate fills. However it is as a cohesive unit that Stairway are most effective, the trio manage to create some excellent hard edged songs that have a strong sense of purpose, but most importantly carry enough hooks and melodies to completely draw you in.

There are many highlights throughout the CD and the eleven tracks are of a consistently strong calibre. That said, I just can't stop going back to "Enter The Light" which has a sense of urgency injected into it by the tight pointed guitar work of Jennens that is strongly reminiscent of the way George Lynch used to elevate Dokken's songs. Throughout the disc Jennens really does impress with his work, however what really raises the standard of the songs on Interregnum is the fantastic vocal arrangements put together by the band. The best example of this is "Born To Die" where the slower more introspective sections become deeper and more convincing with the grand vocals, whereas the layers of voices during the rocked up passages really add that knockout punch to what is already an excellently constructed song.

As mentioned the lyrics are of quite a strong Christian flavour in places and interestingly I think Stairway's style is actually the perfect backdrop to those sentiments, as the genre they are aiming at really lends itself to tales of mystery and faith.

Interregnum is a really good example of how to keep themes extremely interesting whilst also keeping them fairly simple and Stairway realise that the best way to put together a good album is to start with cracking songs and then play them well. That is exactly what they have done here and that attention to detail has also resulted in a well produced album housed in an exquisite Rodney Matthews designed cover that reminds of this genres glory days. Impressive stuff, just don't leave it so long next time.

Track Listing
1. The Suffering Servent
2. In The Shadow of the Cross
3. I'm Calling
4. Born To Die
5. Ride The Wind
6. New Life
7. Enter The Light
8. Fear & Lies
9. What Lies Within
10. The Battle's Over
11. Born To Die - Epilogue

Added: June 5th 2010
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Official Stairway Web Site
Hits: 2215
Language: english

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