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Articles Home » 1995 Articles » Promise, The - 1995 The Promise
Promise, The - 1995 The Promise

ARTIST: Promise, The
ALBUM: The Promise
LABEL: Now And Then Records
YEAR: 1995
CD REISSUE: 1995, Alfa/Brunette (Japan), ALCB3080


LINEUP: Ian Benzie - lead and backing vocals, bass * Gareth Davies - lead and rhythm guitars, backing vocals * Nods Graham - lead and rhythm guitars, backing vocals * Deanne Munro - keyboards * Colin Chapman - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 End Of The Game * 02 You Are The One * 03 Playing Dirty * 04 Holding Out For A Miracle * 05 Sleeping Alone * 06 Don't Keep Me Waiting * 07 Holding On * 08 Restless * 09 When It Rains * 10 Silver Lights


Aberdeen Scotland; the home to many an oil/gas resources worker camped out in the North Sea. It was also the home for AOR band The Promise. It's easy to forgive and forget this lot in the overall scheme of Scottish AOR/rock, where Strangeways and Nazareth have dominated hearts and minds for years. For 'Jock trainspotters', they will tell you that other outfits such as Heavy Pettin', Walk On Fire, RAF and Steve Docherty's Zero Zero should not be forgotten either. The origins of The Promise go back years, when they were first known as Freebird then Tour De Force. Because there was the American version of Tour De Force already out there during the late 80's and early 90's, a name change was in order. A couple of cassette demo's and profile write-ups in early 90's UK fanzines such as AOR Boulevard enabled the band to sign onto Ashton and Mees label Now And Then (remember them, gosh it seems like an aeon ago!). The debut CD is indeed full of promise, and is more AOR than the follow up album 'Human Fire'.

The Songs
A rollicking drum intro precedes 'End Of The Game', the song sounding like a power metal number upon first inspection, but things are soon bought back into perspective, with a hard driving rhythm section, high flying solos from both Gareth and Nods on guitar, not forgetting Deanne's keyboard and piano flurry toward the end. 'You Are The One' is definitely on the AOR side of the footpath, the chorus is fairly generic though, and could've benefited from a different arrangement. 'Playing Dirty' is guitar based, a true hard rock formula that typifies 80's hair metal styles more than most. 'Holding Out For A Miracle' brings it back to a lighter pop/rock sound, think Ya Ya or Outside Edge as possible references. 'Sleeping Alone' is the first of the ballads with Deanne supplying some tasteful piano lines, the whole thing kept in check with a slower tempo and a soaring guitar solo spot. Where The Promise excel is on those pure AOR tracks; 'Don't Keep Me Waiting' and the rather magnificent 9 minute 'Silver Lights' (which for me is the album highlight) are the two prime examples.

In Summary
Released in March 1995, the CD was originally going to contain between 14 or 15 songs, but this was trimmed to 10, which saved its reputation immeasurably. Receiving a host of solid album reviews at the time, the Japanese Alfa/Brunette label also reissued it for their market a couple of months later. The Promise followed the CD up with an April 1995 performance at 'The Gods of Hard Rock' at the Astoria in London, but within a year, keyboardist Deanne Munro and drummer Colin Chapman had left Aberdeen for the USA and Glasgow respectively, meaning the band had to find replacements. It would be four years later that the second album 'Human Fire' was released.

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#1 | Eric on September 09 2012 00:50:05
I had totally forgotten about these guys. Nice to see 'em here.
#2 | swazi on September 10 2012 21:24:33
Great band, awesome music!
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