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Dante Fox - 2007 Under The Seven Skies



ARTIST: Dante Fox
ALBUM: Under The Seven Skies
LABEL: Frontiers
SERIAL: FRCD 325
YEAR: 2007

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Sue Willets - vocals * Tim Manford - guitar, backing vocals * Mike Dagnall - bass, backing vocals * Roman Wieckowski - keyboards, backing vocals * Mick Hales - drums

Guest:Tony Mills - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 The Last Goodbye * 02 Firing Guns * 03 Hold Out Your Hand * 04 Breakin' Me Down * 05 Goodbye To Yesterday * 06 Walking The Line * 07 Love Tried To Find You * 08 Save Me * 09 Lucky Ones (Born Tonight In The Setting Sun) *10 Under The Seven Skies

RATING:

WEBLINKS: www.dantefox.com


Background
I remember when this lot first came to my attention back in 1996. The female fronted Birmingham based outfit raised a few eyebrows with their Heart meets Jaime Kyle styled melodic rock. Though formed back in 1989, it took them a few years to get some runs on the board. Dante Fox are principally the duo of Sue Willets and Tim Manford. The rest of the band has seen members come and go. Their 1996 debut 'Under Suspicion' was a pretty good effort to be fair, and stylistically this new one (their third) 'Under The Seven Skies' is pretty much the same, perhaps a tad edgier in the guitar department and less intrusive with the keyboard work. Willet's vocals remain the catalyst for Dante Fox, powerful, full, and melodic. No problems there.. good one Sue. To my ears, this sounds like Ten with a female lead singer. That probably says more about Tim Manford's 'manful' playing style. Perhaps he should be referred to Gary Hughes?


The Songs
'Under The Seven Skies' has a smattering of good songs. I wasn't blown away by any song in particular. The pick of the bunch is the semi-ballad 'Goodbye To Yesterday', the highlight being the piano/vocal interplay and rich harmony vocals. It's a bit softer than the rest of the album, so provides a contrast. 'Walking The Line' is a cool and hard hitting track with some Saraya influences. Would've been nice to have this one drenched in synth layers. What we got was thin by comparison. 'Firing Guns' is surely an 80's anthem revisited, the same routine as Vixen were doing back in 1988. 'Hold Out Your Hand' is inoffensively 'nice' whereas 'Breaking Me Down' sounded as if were going to walk the Whitesnake walk (albeit with female vocals), but it ends up being quite tame, despite the guitar flourishes from Manford.


In Summary
Dante Fox are probably the best female fronted outfit doing the rounds in the UK. Put them in a decent studio with a decent producer and this lot could deliver something extraordinarily good. Mostly this is good without being exceptional, which is what I was hoping for. I have no idea whether they translate that well to the live environment. Be interesting to get some feedback on this aspect.. Unfortunately this style of rock is not that popular anymore, and being lumped with a label such as Frontiers doesn't help their cause any. Nice to see them still around and gracing us with a new album at least.


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