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WEBCounter by GOWEB    

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   STATETROOPER
The Calling
2004
CIC Records
http://www.statetrooper.co.uk


rating: 4.5/5

1. The Calling
2. Casablanca
3. I’m Alive
4. Amerasians
5. Love Lies Bleeding
6. D.O.A
7. Marionettes
8. Don’t Say Goodbye
9. How Does It Feel
10. Twilight’s Last Gleaming
11. I Believe

It's a pleasant surprise to hear Gary Barden's voice again, it had been a while! This man has impressed me so much, way back when I started to listen to hardrock and metal. MSG's debut album was the first hardrock/metal album that I bought, back in 1981 (not counting Heart as hardrock). I still love those albums with Gary's almost soaring vocals on them, damnit, I should pop those in after I finish here ;)
Barden started Statetrooper, but called it quits a few albums later, and then I kinda lost track of what he had been up to, until this CD ended up on my doormat. As I said it's nice to hear him again, but the music as well as the vocals are so much more melodic/poppier than the more bluesy stuff from back then with MSG (I can't remember the older Statetrooper material anymore). But of course I shouldn't compare Statetrooper with MSG too much. Statetrooper is a high quality hardrock band for people who love the good old rocking days with UFO, Whitesnake and Van Halen (to name a few)!

"Calling" is a real good start of the CD with some very strong MSG reminders in Gary's vocals! "Casablanca" starts with an awesome grooving, bluesy part that makes you move for sure. Some great Van Halen type of riffing too, great soloing, great guitarwork all over - it's time to point out how splendid the guitarists Jeff Summers and Martin Mikkels are! "I'm Alive" is dirty and bluesy and thus results in Barden singing accordingly, showing much more of his qualities than in the more laid-back songs. "Amerasians" kinda goes on and on without really doing much for me and unfortunately neither does the sweet and slow ballad "Love Lies Bleeding". I love ballads when they climax to an emotional part where the singer screams out his pain, thus showcasting his abilities (and wouldn't Barden be amazing!!), but no such thing in this song. Pity. But, "DOA" wakes us up again, it's fast and heavy with a strong Van Halen feel! "Marionettes" is nice and cheerful and stands out because certain melodies are whistled, not sung! Really refreshing! Starting with a melodic solo and acoustic guitars, "Don't Say Goodbye" turns out to be another ballad, but one I like a lot more, because it has a more bluesy touch. "How Does It Feel" is a great song that rocks harder again and takes me back to MSG days. "Twilights Last Gleaming" is a bit different, up-tempo, but with soaring riffs in the Megadeth vein (I'm not complaining!) and an oriental touch here and there. One of my faves! With "I Believe" the album ends with a slower, but spiritual song. Well, I do think all rockfans can safely believe in this band and British rock music again!

submitted by Marlies 09.01.2005

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