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Articles Home » 2011 Articles » Oz Knozz - 2011 True Believer
Oz Knozz - 2011 True Believer

ARTIST: Oz Knozz
ALBUM: True Believer
LABEL: Oz Knozz Music
YEAR: 2011


LINEUP: Duane Massey - keyboards, trumpet, flugelhorn, alto horn, backing vocals * Milton De Coronado - lead vocals, keyboards * Robert Guinea - guitars * Bill Massey - bass, tenor sax * Marty Naul - drums, percussion, backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Empty Room * 02 Goodbye Again * 03 Far Away * 04 Fox Paws * 05 Always There * 06 Here Comes The Night * 07 Visitor * 08 What The .. * 09 True Believer * 10 Kings And Treasures



There are plenty of OZ Knozz fans here by the sounds of things. Even though we got to reviewing their 2008 comeback album '10,000 Days & Nights' toward the end of that year, it seemed the band's stocks were still on the rise long after. Now with us again for their recent 2011 effort 'True Believer', the line-up is stable yet again, but for mine, the music is not as good as its predecessor. Graced with a goregous cover, 'True Believer' has flown under the radar for many websites, as not many can be bothered going off to buy a copy, waiting instead to see if they can pilfer one online. Being a (excuse the pun) 'true believer' in the band, it wasn't a difficult job to procure a copy from the band's website (recently redeveloped by the way, and again, looking fantastic!) and thanks to regular CD and parcel dispatcher Marty Naul, a CD arrived from Texas to Western Australia within a week, all thanks to the airline equivalent of the Pony Express! Some of you probably got a sneak preview of Oz Knozz thanks to the promo CD from the 'Classic Rock Presents.. AOR' magazine, issue 5, which featured the track 'Visitor'. The 'True Believer' CD has been out for a couple of months now, and due to the congested highway that is my 'review articles queue', we're only getting around to it now. So what do we have? Ten tracks this time, a slight improvement in quantity over the eight provided on '10,000 Days & Nights', though I think the music is an unorthodox mix of crossover prog, symphonic and hard rock styles, rather than the mix and match of songs we had on the previous album. I rated that album highly at the time (95/100) and we don't lose a lot with this new one.

The Songs
'Empty Room' is the lead-off track, a tough encounter with a hint of the grandiose contained within. Fusing passionate vocals, tinker-tap piano, strident guitars and fat synth layers, this is another way of saying 'pomp'.

Next up is 'Goodbye Again' which rides the same road as Presto Ballet, a harder tinge with coarse guitar and organ to the fore.

Even harder is 'Far Away', which bashes up the next five minutes with intent. The chorus is a band shout-out that is probably a touch too tough - needing more melody, the solo sections of lead guitar and synth more than makes up for the shortfall.

There's no lightening up for the strong sounding 'Fox Paws', with big guitars and a trumpet taking up the lead solo role. How unusual, I'm sure Herb Alpert would be impressed! At nearly 6 and a half minutes, it's a long track.

'Always There' drops back to mid-tempo speed, hovering in ballad mode mostly, and is probably the album's most progressive moment. Guitarist Robert Guinea takes control by halftime, but the keyboard team picks up the pace thereafter and turns providers with some nifty lead solos.

'Here Comes The Night' could best be described as hard AOR, with an insistent piano motif taking up the backbone position, anchoring the song throughout.

'Visitor' is a rockier affair, with some old fashioned riffs and keyboard parts which allude to a late 70's vibe, not unlike Kansas during that golden era.

'What The..' is a blues oriented romp with brass parts to boot. The guitar solo from Guinea is a hot smokin' affair for sure.

'True Believer' the song is a licorice all-sorts. The vocals and lyrics remind me of someone, but I just can't place it. There are some interesting moments, including the Devils voice in the mid-section, plus some Styx-ian like keyboards that'll impress (or annoy) Dennis De Young!

The album finishes up with the pompous 'Kings And Treasures', and at 7 minutes (or near enough to), this is the album's supposed epic moment and is plsyed in the same style as the late great Bluebeard, but it doesn't really get going unfortunately. It meanders for a good while, there is orchestral section too which occupies time, and the song winds out without any major fanfare or brash crescendo.

In Summary
There is an element of the unpredictable and unusual on 'True Believer'. What I'm probably trying to say is that there's something for everyone on this album. A venture through the description of the songs listed above will hopefully give the pundits a better idea as to what's onboard here. After releasing this CD on their own back at the end of 2011, Oz Knozz have now signed to Prog Rock Records, 'True Believer' will become a renewed 'branded' CD release on that label, with an expected ETD of June 2012. If you can't wait till then, email Marty over at the OK website for a copy of the CD.

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#1 | gdazegod on May 17 2012 21:44:54
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