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Articles Home » 2001 Articles » C4 (Featuring Michael Angelo) - 2001 Call To Arms
C4 (Featuring Michael Angelo) - 2001 Call To Arms

ARTIST: C4 (Featuring Michael Angelo)
ALBUM: Call To Arms
LABEL: Mace Music
YEAR: 2001


LINEUP: Michael Angelo - guitars, keyboards * Dan Lenegar - vocals * Bill Kopecky - bass * John Mrozek - drums, backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Gotta Run * 02 Love In On Time * 03 Call To Arms * 04 All I Want * 05 That's When It Hurts * 06 Heartbeat * 07 Basics Of The Bullet * 08 High Life * 09 I Want It * 10 Crazy Love * 11 Quick Start (Bonus) * 12 What I Will And Won't Do (Bonus)



I picked this up in secondhand shop recently for 2. At the time I had no idea was it was like and the story that would evolve. These purchases I also class as a 'Risk Disc', so what attracted me? Certainly wasn't the cover, not your normal melodic rock image, although it does have a special meaning. The only clue that got my brain ticking was the mention of Michael Angelo, who I remembered from the 80's group Nitro, after closer inspection I noticed 'Gillette' as a co-writer, I assumed this being the blonde high pitched bombshell Jim Gillette, I was correct. Although C4 play a more harder and melodic sound than Nitro. This is where it gets interesting, I had finished my review and just starting to put together some background material. I'm basically going to submit the review of the songs unaltered, but here is the interesting facts of the CD. C4 is the album by Michael Angelo Batio his first with vocals since Nitro and features covers by that band and also from the 1985 album by Holland, 'Little Monsters'. I can identify five songs from Batio playing days from Holland, two from Nitro and a couple of others that may have been left off the Holland album. Although I have that album in my collection I must admit that I never really played it that regularly. In all honesty I had not remembered any of these tunes and having sold the Nitro debut (I assume as I can't locate it), I always had trouble with the vocals of Gillette, although I am now interested in the second Nitro to hear 'Crazy Love'. I didn't want to get into a discussion of weighing up each version of the songs to the originals, although it might be a good forum subject in the future, we could add the Bobby Kimball attempt at the Unruly Child songs. My own view is that I now listen to 'Little Monsters' with a different view and actually enjoy and appreciate that record more than I did. So lets carry on..

The Songs
It starts with 'Gotta Run', which has a very melodic opening with a tinge of keyboards in the background. It does give the impression of quality melodic/hard rock, somewhat likened to Firehouse. As expected the guitar solo is excellent, but Angelo manages to rein in his obvious talent.

'Love In On Time', has a Malmsteen opening, very catchy, just a complete tune. In fact all songs are below the 5 minute mark, very snappy, sharp, verse chorus solo format, but it works and becomes an easy melodic CD to listen to.

With a title track called 'Call To Arms', you wouldn't be surprised to find Hammerfall lurking in the cupboard, but no, actually more like Iron Maiden as it has a real 'Wasted Years' opening, which keeps popping up throughout the tune, which I really like. Dan Lenegar even provides the odd Ronnie James Dio powerful moment. Overall Lenegar performance is pretty solid, not gruff, no shrieks or screams. I do feel he holds back on the power to keep his voice more melodic to keep with the nature of the songs as I heard him in another group called Five Nickel High where he gives a rough performance. Lenegar also appeared in a progressive metal band under the name of B.E.N.T.

'All I Want' has a more relaxed opening, plenty of backing vocals, mix of singalong anthemic chorus but they have added a darker side to the song, another great solo.

The first four songs are all easy to listen to, in fact a real 80's feel just updated. Up next is 'That's When It Hurts' which is a pretty ordinary track that doesn't change tempo and therefore not as inspiring as many of the others.

'Heartbeat' picks up the quality again with it's real 80's AOR opening and one of the first times that Michael hits those keyboards, you can even point to a bit of Hair Metal.

'High Life' has some exceptional moments but doesn't maintain the quality throughout due to a very ordinary chorus which is a shame because there are some great flowing keyboards.

'I Want It' and it's back to the late 80's, LA Strip, gang vocals, but you are left with images of the poor parts of Warrant, Roxx Gang even a bit of Britny Fox, no wonder it's at the end of the CD, it's not my favourite.

The CD finishes with 'Crazy Love', again stuck in the 80's, however this does improve and similar to a harder version of Poison and wouldn't look out of place on any 80's AOR record.

In Summary
It's not going to win any prizes for being the CD of the year, but it's certainly worth tracking down as it gives an interesting twist to the previously released versions. I have enjoyed tracking the story behind this release, it's amazing what a chance purchase can reveal. 10 tunes, some good, some average and as the Holland album was only released on CD in limited numbers it's at least one way to hear these tunes in that format. Of course the album has an 80's feel but with the Lenegar vocals, it gives it an updated sound. However in terms of a 'risk disc' purchase, it was a risk worth taking.

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#1 | Eric on September 29 2008 23:09:55
Another interesting choice for review englandashes. I'll be on the lookout for this one too...Thumbs Up
#2 | rkbluez on September 30 2008 00:05:20
This album is essential for anyone one into melodic hard rock with balls...anyone who enjoyed the classic Holland 'Little Monsters" album will be blown away by the updated versions of the songs here as well as the newer stuff...this is where Michael should stay playing kick ass hard rock with vocals and his mega shred licks and super melodic playing...the song Basic's of the Bullet has one of the nastiest rhythm guitar tracks ever...the tone of Michaels axe alone is huge...IMO this album is classic!
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