In The Face Of Danger (CD & DVD)

Arch Rival

ARCH RIVAL achieved something not many bands are (in the midst of their lack of […]
By Grigoris Chronis
November 2, 2009
Arch Rival - In The Face Of Danger album cover

ARCH RIVAL achieved something not many bands are (in the midst of their lack of commercial fortune) proud of: a sterling debut album leaving its huge fat stamp in the asses of melodic American Metal fans aware of the Ohio metallers' value back then. Originally released in 1991 and long gone out of print, In The Face Of Danger is setting the world on fire again, now re-printed by the newly formed Rock-a-holics Records and enriched with a juicy DVD companion as bonus gift.
Michael Harris is not the name you usually avoid if being an aficionado of virtuoso guitar players upon American soil. A strong axeman, known for his elegant mix of shredding and -in-your-face passionate riffing, Michael already has a luxurious career comprising deeds with ZANISTER, ARTENSION, Dave Chastain, LEATHER and SURGEON while offering notable works as a solo artist, too. A Hard & Heavy demigod inheriting the skills and technique of colossal guitarists like Michael Schenker, Frank Marino and Steve Morse, a compatriot relevant to Jake E. Lee, George Lynch or James Byrd, his name also stands proud behind the release of the Diginet Music Guitar Masters series (CD sets providing each guitarist with bass/drums tracks - performed by Mike Haid and David Chastain - in order for personal unique parts to be added over the rhythms).
So, what about ARCH RIVAL? Well, Michael's brainchild released the self-financed God Bless America EP in 1986 and if you ever obtain an original copy just fire in the sky to celebrate. As said, 1991's In The Face Of Danger paved the way for an ensuing success but the next couple of albums, Wake Up Your Mind (1993) and Third Degree Burns (1997), did not last enough - even if both being interesting collections of songs - to maintain ARCH RIVAL's name. Now, coinciding with the re-release here reviewed, it seems that the Rivals are back for good and it will not be out of the question to except some new songwriting effort by Michael Harris and Co.
On its own, In The Face Of Danger sounds fresh even for today's standards. Standing one foot to the melodies of DOKKEN, IMPELLITTERI or even TRIXTER or KING'S X while bringing a lot like FIFTH ANGEL, HAWK, SAVATAGE or ARMORED SAINT forth, you'll have a tough time trying to separate one good song from another. Without being any close to a concept album, the track sequence in this CD is so smooth and ideal that you can as well listen to the whole spirit of open-minded American Metal raised in the late 80s/early 90s in the album at once. Needless to say, the instrumentation is phenomenal throughout the whole C, the guitars takes show no wear and stick to mind even if far away from being naive, the bass/drums section is pounding with variety in tempos but enough malice where needed and...what else?...yeap... Steve Snyder is the ideal voice for ARCH RIVAL, binding some illustrious musical quality with excellent singing takes.
In The Face Of Danger, Me Against The World, Fortune Hunter, God Bless America and Siren's Song are indeed very good reasons to throw away any doubts and give in, let aside the fact this re-release comes with 2 bonus live cuts (average quality) in the CD disc plus a full DVD disc featuring two promo videos and a whole set of live appearances from ARCH RIVAL back in those days. Skipping the in a perfect world the band would blah blah blah manifest, just try to enjoy some ass-kicking music by an American melodic Metal band 100% worth your attention. All these, anxiously waiting for a possible new ARCH RIVAL strike in the future to come.

8 / 10


"In The Face Of Danger (CD & DVD)" Track-listing:

In The Face Of Danger
Time Won't Wait
Me Against The World
Rock The Night Away
Fortune Hunter
God Bless America
Mr. Attitude
Shotgun At Midnight
Siren's Song
Can You Tell Me Why?
In The Face Of Danger (live)
Me Against The World (live)

Arch Rival Lineup:

Greg Martin - Drums
Steve Snyder - Vocals
Gary Rigmaiden - Bass
Michael Harris - Guitars

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