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Articles Home » 2010 Articles » Giant - 2010 Promise Land
Giant - 2010 Promise Land

ALBUM: Promise Land
LABEL: Frontiers
YEAR: 2010


LINEUP: Terry Brock - vocals * John Roth - guitars * Mike Brignardello - bass * David Huff - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Believer * 02 Promise Land * 03 Save Me * 04 Never Surrender * 05 Our Love * 06 Prisoners Of Love * 07 Two Worlds * 08 Plenty Of Love * 09 Through My Eyes * 10 I'll Wait For You * 11 Dying To See You * 12 Double Trouble * 13 Complicated Man


Anytime the term 'Giant' is mentioned in the context of AOR or melodic hard rock, the blood pressure is sure to rise and beads of sweat are sure to appear on the brow of many a fan. Even more so when news appeared late last year that god-like vocalist Terry Brock would be fronting the Nashville based band. However, this was tempered by the news that Dann Huff would not be having a significant role to play due to his other commitments, his guitar role being taken on by the thoroughly adequate John Roth, who also appeared on the latest Winger album 'Karma'. So how much of an impact does the absence of Huff have on the band? Rather a lot I'm afraid.. If you are expecting anything remotely close to 'The Last Of The Runaways' or 'Time To Burn', then you will be sorely disappointed. It's much harder to take out the world class musical talent that is Huff, and to replace it with the vocal genius of Brock, the shift in dynamics is quite vast. To my ears, this could have been any new hard rock project. Perhaps it should've been named with that in mind. With Brock's inclusion, the Giant sound moves from a mainly Foreigner base to a Journey one. Great, I hear many of you say, though there is a trade-off, and that is the absence of Huff's notable vocals and guitar lines. For me personally, that trade-off is too great.

The Songs
The opening pairing of 'Believer' and 'Promise Land' are great scene setters, the latter features some terrific guitar soloing. 'Save Me' attempts to mimic the groove laden sound Giant used to achieve on their earlier albums, but this one ends up sounding like The Black Crowes and other bands of that persuasion. The fast paced 'Never Surrender' sounds like AOR by numbers, generic title and even more generic musical structure, though delivered well, if that's any consolation. 'Our Love' is the first ballad and is exquisite for the most part, however the song I enjoyed the most would be 'Two Worlds', full of pumping bass lines and a hard hitting delivery containing familiar Giant guitar parts. Another that I enjoyed is the ballad 'Through My Eyes', supremely melodic mostly, and in keeping with the soothing balladry, 'Dying To See You' has a nice melancholy approach, this to Giant is what 'Sweet And Simple' was to Journey. The last track 'Complicated Man' sounds like a cross between Van Halen's 'Ice Cream Man' and Giant's very own 'Time To Burn', a fun time workout.

In Summary
Without doubt, there are some truly good songs, but I come away with some doubt. David Huff's drums are pushed too far back in the mix to my ears. There is no sting or aural forward presence, and where the snare should sizzle it fizzles. Not all the songs are immediate, and I'm thinking the word 'filler' on some of these. Sorry to say, but at the end of the day - to me Dann Huff is GIANT. End of story, despite what others will tell you. However, don't let that put you off on what is an otherwise solid sounding album, but just don't go into it with wide eyed expectations of past deeds.

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#1 | Hardlover on February 28 2010 20:54:14
I have to disagree with some harsh words above. "Save Me" is the only bad thing on the whole CD. "Never Surrender" has fantastic guitar solo, "Prisoner Of Love" is a perfect Whitesnake-like anthem, and the riffs in "Two Worlds" blew me away. Overall, this album makes me feel like in 80s. The band proves that they can play as well as they did with Dan Huff. A fantastic piece of mature AOR! 9/10
#2 | gdazegod on February 28 2010 22:14:19
Well HL, I am a Giant fan like everybody else. It's like the old Jim Beam ad on TV from a few years ago.. 'this ain't Jim Beam'. Am I really that harsh? I did say <quote>otherwise solid sounding album<end quote>, You gave it a 9? Good lord.. For me, it was lucky to get an 8.
#3 | george_the_jack on March 01 2010 00:16:07
Agree George.Some pretty good and solid moments but overall nothing exceptional IMO.Certainly this is not Giant (maybe a Giant-like band) despite the fact that I'm a big fan of Terry Brock and Jon Roth.Actually, Roth has done a very good job in these arrangements.I've always considered him a 'bluesman' -as I've seen him in amazing live performances with Winger- but with 'Promise land' he revealed his melodic and AOR-ish self.
#4 | gdazegod on March 01 2010 01:39:11
Yeah.. look.. it's a good album, but not overly exceptional for me.. Others will see it differently.. fair enough..
#5 | george_the_jack on March 01 2010 12:26:09
I think '8' is a fair enough grade.
#6 | roadrunner158 on March 29 2010 11:49:40
I won't get into the "Can this be Giant without DH" discussion, since I like to judge a book (and a CD) by its content, not by the cover. To me, the first two thirds of this release are mostly very good, but there's a notable drop in song quality towards the end. So, I guess gdazegod's rating is overall fair. Highlights to me are "Believer", "Never Surrender", "Two Worlds" and "Through My Eyes".
#7 | jeffrey343 on December 23 2010 05:15:08
I didn't discover Giant until 2007, so I haven't been listening to them for years like many of you have. I'll agree that this does have a slightly different sound than the earlier material. I think Terry Brock was a solid choice to replace Dan Huff; they certainly could have done a lot worse. I think overall it still sounds like Giant, although with some differences. Still a very solid album in what I consider to be a very good year.
#8 | jeffrey343 on December 23 2010 05:21:37
Also, my track order is slightly different, with 'Save Me' the last song and everything else moving up one spot. And 'Through My Eyes' was on the 2005 Philip Bardowell album 'In The Cut' - my favorite track off that one. Giant's version is equally good - it's just a good song.
#9 | jeffrey343 on December 23 2010 06:13:47
I'm listening to this right now (after my last comments), and I think the main issue many folks might be having is that Brock's voice is harsher than Huff's. Brock is obviously a great vocalist, but his voice has more of an edge, whereas Huff has a smoother delivery. I think John Roth does a fine job on guitar, so I think Huff is missed more on vocals.

Brock's voice is edgier here than it seems on his solo album this year and on the Strangeways album. Not sure why or whether that was the intent.

(I got this album when it came out, so I'm not sure why I've waited so many months to finally start commenting on it...)
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