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Total Eclipse - 1992 Total Eclipse

ARTIST: Total Eclipse
ALBUM: Total Eclipse
SERIAL: 28965 4008 2
YEAR: 1992


LINEUP: Bernie K - vocals * Victor Johnson - guitars * Dre Baby - bass * Dave Brown - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 A Total Eclipse * 02 (Don't Be) Afraid Of The Dark * 03 Get Outta Yo Body * 04 Time's A Changin' * 05 Fire In The Rain * 06 Long As It Feels Alright * 07 Slippery When Wet * 08 Check Me Out * 09 Mr Johnson's Back Porch * 10 Somethin' About You * 11 Tears Keep Fallin' * 12 Hurricane Lies * 13 Freedom (Star)

An interesting lot this.. Formed from the ashes of early 80's LA metal band Sound Barrier and Bus Boys, Total Eclipse combine the approach taken by fellow black bands Mothers Finest (a la their 'Black Radio Won't Play This Record' album), and Living Color, the latter being an obvious comparison considering the Total Eclipse image. Signed to A&M offshoot Tabu, the band are superb, the music being well produced melodic heavy rock with a funky razor edge, with crisp sizzling guitars provided by former Bus Boys axe slinger Victor Johnson. Bernie K described their music as 'rock 'n' groove, a reference to the combination of metal and funk, as popularized by the aforementioned Living Color and 247 Spyz. It is reputed that Vernon Reid was so taken by Bernie's previous outfit Sound Barrier (the first black American metal band signed to a major label - MCA), that it provided him with the inspiration to form Living Color. Some testament indeed. From Los Angeles, the band's demo found its way to the offices of A&M, who duly signed them, and got them in touch with producer Michael McDonald who had previously worked with non-metal artists.

The Songs
Leading off with the prelude 'A Total Eclipse', it is a brooding intro to 'Afraid Of The Dark', a tight guitar riff fest that even Nuno Bettencourt would turn his ear to. Check out the funk power of 'Get Outta Yo Body', or better yet the infectious 'Check Me Out'. My favourite track is the brilliant 'Long As It Feels Right' - those guitar lines are one outta the box! 'Fire In The Rain' was the bands first single, and contains a big chorus typical of rock songs entering the charts during that era. Total Eclipse venture into ballad territory with the lovely 'Tears Keep Fallin' - a classy affair which contains a fluid solo from Johnson, lifting the song to another level. The last pairing of 'Hurricane Lies' and 'Freedom' are a great listen - the latter takes a melodic hard rock/AOR detour, away from their freeway brand of funk metal.

In Summary
Apparently, the Total Eclipse live show was something to behold, the band being described with all the positive adjectives under the sun. However, the band has long since split, with Johnson the only visible high-profile member, now a member of Sammy Hagar's band The Waboritas. If you do see this in the bargain bins, it is well worth the investment, particularly for an hours worth of high quality funky metal - full of big guitar riffs, sonic chops and high energy.

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#1 | reyno-roxx on June 28 2009 15:36:41
This kicked ass then and it still does. An excellent record.
#2 | rkbluez on November 22 2009 16:48:08
Love this CD it's a kick ass album as Dave's funky hard rock with smokin' guitar work...I'd compare them to a band like Circle Of Soul another band that wound up in obscurity...but kicked major ass.

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