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Articles Home » 2016 Articles » Livesay - 2016 Frozen Hell
 
Livesay - 2016 Frozen Hell



ARTIST: Livesay
ALBUM: Frozen Hell
LABEL: Kivel Records
SERIAL: KR058
YEAR: 2016

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Shawn Pelata - vocals * Gregg Livesay - guitars * Mat Mahoney - bass * Tony Stahl - keyboards, vocals * Tim Hunington - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Intro * 02 Leaving * 03 Slaved And Bound * 04 With Or Without You * 05 Age Of Reason * 06 Welcome To The Real World * 07 Stop Believing * 08 Comes Of Age * 09 Since You've Been Gone * 10 Frozen Hell * 11 Spread Your Wings

RATING:

WEBLINKS: Livesay FB Page


Background
I have been aware of American hard rockers Livesay in the past, but no more than that. In 2016, they have signed with Kivel Records, and recruited vocalist Shawn Pelata from Line Of Fire. Livesay is really the pet project of guitarist Gregg Livesay, and without having heard their prior material, I am being told the band have taken a new direction. As you can expect from the Kivel Records connection, this is melodic metal, with Gregg's guitar sound taking a leaf out of the book already written by Yngwie J Malmsteen, though not as OTT as our Swedish six-string show-off! There are some good moments here, so for my first Livesay review, read on.


The Songs
The opening 'Intro' is like a 30 second trailer to a new Netflix show. Once we go beyond that, you can hear GreGg's Malmsteen like riffing (a la 'Rising Force' from 'Odyssey') on the first real song of substance: 'Leaving'. This song first appeared on Livesay's 1996 debut CD. The power vocals of Shawn Pelata greet us like a long lost friend. Where have you been Mr Pelata? 'Slaved And Bound' takes Livesay's melodic metal sound to a new place, and it sounds good from where I'm sitting. Next up comes Livesay's 'piece-de-resistance' the quite brilliant 'With Or Without You'. This song first appeared on their 2000 album 'Darkest Hour'. The original is on YouTube, but this latest version is far cleaner and far superior. If you like keyboards a la Jens Johansson or even German bands like Javan or Rescue, check out the YouTube clip below. 'Age Of Reason' kicks ass, again - Malmsteen or even a bloke like Chris Impelliteri comes to the surface. 'Welcome To The Real World' is Livesay's power-ballad attempt while the vocal choruses don't quite hit the mark. 'Stop Believing' continues Livesay's foray into 80's styled melodic metal, and they really do thrive in this setting. 'Comes Of Age' picks up the pace somewhat, so too the double bass drum heaviness of the title track 'Frozen Hell' which is close to the latest Hardline CD as an example. The ballad 'Spread Your Wings' definitely works for me, but not so sure of the Rainbow/Russ Ballard/Head East cover 'Since You've Been Gone'. It's ok, but not what I'm used to hearing considering this track is over 30 years in my memory banks.


In Summary
John Kivel has done well to get this band onto his roster, and as mentioned there is a lot to like here. I'm quite partial to the Malmsteen sound, and Gregg Livesay has certainly studied hard at the altar of our Swedish nemesis by the looks of things. If there's one drawback for me, it's the tub-thumping drum sound, which is not particularly subtle, and is accentuated when played on a decent audio system. Still, I'll forgive this infraction, and suggest to punters to check out this very worthwhile release - regardless.


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Comments
#1 | gdazegod on November 09 2016 10:01:35
Livesay - 2016 With Or Without You
YouTube Video:

[url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MW0qm6XcicA]Direct to YouTube[/youtube]
 
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