Face Your Fears

First Signal

From Frontiers Music's website, "As with all the previous releases, this will be another must […]
First Signal - Face Your Fears album cover

From Frontiers Music's website, "As with all the previous releases, this will be another must hear for fans of the AOR/Melodic Rock genre. Birthed in 2010, FIRST SIGNAL started as a musical partnership between vocalist Harry Hess and German producer Dennis Ward. The seeds of this union were planted that same year when Frontiers President and Head of A&R, Serafino Perugino presented Hess some melodic rock songs which had the same vibe and magic as HAREM SCAREM, who, at the time, were on a hiatus." The album has 11 songs.

"Unbreakable" is the first. It has a full, raucous energy, and the chorus is rich with backing vocals. This song is also quite catchy and memorable, and vocalist Hess has very strong pipes. He reaches into the upper ranges and grabs whatever he wants. "Situation Critical" is a heavier offering still very high with harmonies, and another strong chorus. The rhythms are sleazy and catchy. "Always Be There" is a slower and more tender song, still with the big, melodic punch in the chorus, which is somewhere that many AOR bands fail in reaching. "You and me are forever, I'll always be there" he asserts.

"Dominos" opens with a smoking guitar solo and the hasty pace is burning up the tracks. Vocalist Harry Hess really reaches deep in this performance. That chorus leaves a trail of smoke behind it as well. "Rain for Your Roses" is the "Power Ballad" on the album, a term that all music fans should be aware of. The key change in the chorus makes it more memorable, in my opinion. "Never Gonna Let You Go" was the first single I heard ahead of the album release, and it's a real banger. The song drips with emotional tones and the chorus is about as charged as a racehorse when the gate opens. It sounds like a staple DEF LEPPARD sound, and I mean that in the most complimentary way possible.

"Not This Time" has a charming sound in the rhythms, and the vocals are still key to the sound. It builds to a crescendo after the second chorus with lush vocal harmonies. "I ain't gonna run away from you this time" he asserts. "In the Name of Love" is the sappy song on the album, and I mean that genuinely. The song has very strong emotive qualities, and you can feel it in the vocals and music. "Never Be Silenced" closes the album. What a memorable closer. It's rigorous, energetic, and catchy as hell. Overall, this was one of the better AOR albums that I have heard this year. The vocalist was outstanding, as was the band's penchant for writing memorable songs. In particular, the harmonies in the chorus were wonderful, and the production was top notch as well.

8 / 10









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"Face Your Fears" Track-listing:

1. Unbreakable
2. Situation Critical
3. Shoot The Bullet
4. Always Be There
5. Dominos
6. Rain for Your Roses
7. Face Your Fears
8. Never Gonna Let You Go
9. Not This Time
10. In The Name of Love
11. Never Be Silenced

First Signal Lineup:

Harry Hess - Vocals
Marco Pastorino - Guitar
Michele Guaitoli - Bass, Additional Guitar
Marco Andreetto - Drums

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