As many of you already know, almost everything about music coming from Scandinavia is top-notch quality and this Finnish four-piece is no exception. And I'm not only referring to the big names that worked to the mixing and mastering of the record, but especially to the juice of the music: the composition, the arrangements, the execution, the skills and the pathos behind each musician's realization.
The debut album from this Espoo quartet is probably a concept album dealing with the situations and feelings of a renegade who is constantly on the run to maintain his freedom and can be read as a metaphor to the lives of the four guys trying to make it big to escape the daily grinding that common lives often deliver in which they don't fit in.
As to the visual side, the digipack features an artwork that was completely digitally rendered and which shows a US highway passing through a desert whilst lightning strikes in the distance, so as to match the Western movie-influenced lyrics. Unfortunately there is no booklet accompanying the CD case, at least in my version.
declare to have been inspired in these 10 years preceding the debut album by bands such as Thin Lizzy, Van Halen, Gary Moore, Whitesnake, Kiss, Motley Crue, Tesla, Ratt, Skid Row, and of course Peer Gunt, but trust me if I tell you there is much more lying in their music.
The Finns have opted to introduce themselves with "Renegade", opened by a magnificent riff enhanced by an astounding bridge, while the refrain sweeps away a large number of competitors who have arrived at the debut album threshold. Then it's time for a rhythmic variation preparing for fiery guitarwork; many would call it solo but actually the guitar is duetting with the drums and the bass with intensity, skill and good taste. Really, the lead guitar player here leaves nothing to chance and his work is as long and as it is involving.
The video shot to spread the Finnish musician's first manifesto is absolutely awesome and was voted on our https://www.rockmetalbands.com website as best video from upcoming acts. Great acting, effects, plot and you can indeed understand the band is in good shape. Check out its audiovisual intensity at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qi-tXDzQjIk and please note that the song is slightly longer than the one on CD. What's even more curious is that the lead and backing vocals sound live or demo if you prefer in comparison with the ones on the album, and probably all that was done to increase the ultimate impact on the viewers.
Matched with an official video featuring a black sports car and lots of Marshall amps (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lboJ8_mO_4), "My Way or the Highway" sounds like a piece of impudent Hard Rock rich in hooks; it contains a come-on refrain lasting till the two guitar duets, the second of which clearly tastes like Metal.
With "Unbreakable" things change, being it swinging Hard Rock with basswork in the spotlight; the 80s-styled irresistible vocals are different than the ones used in the rest of the songs and the guitar 'solo' is in pure Heavy Metal guise. The video related to this song ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xwzxIQfqbY) turns out to be more simple and more low-budget than the other ones but it has the merit of showing in close sight how clever Niko Räty is not only at singing but also in taking the best out of his guitar.
Reminiscent of Tesla, "Lost and Found" recurs to delicate backing vocals added to raw lead ones. The guitar work goes back and forth from fast to slow passages with plenty of class. The vocal parts are painstaking, both the lead and the back-up ones, however it's the guitars that shine thanks to arrangements of such intenseness that equal the Great White's of the good old times.
An official lyric video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mK_jcm2Vjj4) was dropped to support the verb of "Loaded Gun"; this is another composition started by a riff possessing the attitude of showing who's boss immediately, and it's also a track that surprises listeners owing to its similarity to Def Leppard. All of its variations make it fit for live shows, so I wouldn't be surprised at all if it became a steady request from audiences.
"Scream 'n' Shout" includes guitars and drums which are a tad more diversified than usual, glad to be protagonists in this song. It's nice to observe that the guitar plot is either Jazz Rock or utilizes a squealing guitar in the vein of Zakk Wylde.
Lasting over 5 minutes and a half, "Rock City Blues (Born under A Bad Sign)" is the second longest track on this album but you can feel its length more than in the other because it's abundant with groove; it's a sort of modern and male version of Alannah Myles's hardest material, where some drums are harder than the initial Blues ones; the guitar work is mainly slow but there is time for a final speed up that works as an introduction to another piercing guitar work and vocal parts in crescendo ranging from Hard Rock vocalisms to the early Bruce Dickinson's vocals!
"All for One...None for All" is another Hard Rock opus to sing in a shower or arena; embellished by a scorching conclusive acceleration, the lead guitar portions seem pretty inspired and various, while the other guitarist is imposing riffs and licks until the end.
Whether you're young or not, you cannot be indifferent to the wonderful vibrations connected to the eighties that "Here to Stay" is guaranteed to give; in my opinion the best riff and refrain of the Finnish foursome can be found here, and we shouldn't forget to pay attention to what the rhythm guitar is playing in order to diversify and beautify the ending and growing intrigue, which can't but stay impressed in your mind.
It's hard to find a weakness in this debut: it would be easy to say that these guys propose nothing new and had better write something personal; still I never feel the need of a new formula while listening to these 40 minutes
and actually the more I replay this CD the more I'm convinced about Sixgun Renegades' talent under every aspect.
I came here for some riffs I heard when I was offered to review this album, but now that I've received the CD and have analyzed the whole 9 tracks I'm here to recommend it to you for the 'axe solos' and the refrains, which make every song better than the other. Amazing discoveryI'm enjoying and sharing with you. It's gonna be real hard to outclass this product, folks!