4 out of 5 Stars!
This is probably the best album by Forcefield, the side project masterminded by (I suspect) the trio of Ray Fenwick (formerly guitarist of the Ian Gillan Band), Cozy Powell (drum god, formerly of thousands of bands…RIP), and Graham Bonnet (one-time vocalist with Rainbow, Alcatrazz, and The Michael Schenker Group, to name but a few).
Overall, the fourth Forcefield album is less pop-oriented then the previous three releases, although a few of the tracks (the Russ Ballard-penned opener “Let The Wild Run Free” as well as Forcefield’s rendition of Denny Laine’s “Money Talks” being two of them) still make an appearance. Yet, the album is also heavier than the previous releases. Indeed, included within are some rather blistering tracks, with stunning guitar work courtesy of Mario Parga (notably on the tracks “I Will Not Go Quietly,” “Women On Wings,” and “Living By Numbers”), Bernie Marsden (ex-Whitesnake/Babe Ruth) on several tracks, as well as Ray Fenwick himself (although he contributes the majority of the keyboard work or rhythm guitar work, for the most part, while allowing the guest guitarists to “steal the show.”)
As on the band’s previous albums, this release is made up of a few original compositions, while the remainder are cover-tunes, some well known, some obscure. For this release, the band recorded “Can’t Get Enough” (Bad Company), which is a rather lame attempt and one of the album’s lower points. On the other hand, the rendition of Jimi Hendrix’s “The Wind Cries Mary” isn’t all that shabby, being one of the better tracks on offer here.
The standout tunes, however, are a Don Henley song and two original compositions: Henley’s “I Will Not Go Quietly,” the original “Living By Numbers,” (both featuring some ripping guitar lines) and, my favorite, the bluesier “Women On Wings,” where Graham Bonnet completely shreds his tonsils. Apart from the keyboard backdrop, contributed by former Colosseum II and Rainbow/current Deep Purple keyboardist Don Airey, this track reminds me of Bonnet’s limited time in MSG, on the underrated and killer Assault Attack release).
If anyone dares to delve into the Forcefield output, I recommend this album as the starting (and perhaps ending) point.