KEN HENSLEY & Live Fire – Faster (2011)

KEN HENSLEY & Live Fire - Faster (2011)
bonus track edition

London born Kenneth (Ken) Hensley wrote rock history with Uriah Heep during the era of albums such as ‘Salisbury’, or the acclaimed ‘Demons And Wizards’.
‘Lady In Black’, ‘Easy Livin’, ‘Look at Yourself’, ‘Free Me’ or ‘Stealin’ – were all written or co-written by Hensley.
There is little doubt that the Hammond-organist, guitarist and singer played a key role in the success story of the band he finally left in 1980, not happy with the musical directions they were choosing at the time.
After trying to put a new band together, the short lived UK act Shotgun, he formed the first Ken Hensley Band in the US, before joining Jacksonville’s southern rockers Blackfoot for a two album stint.

By the mid-90s, Hensley was ready to push forward and since then he has been weaving the old magic once again
His new album “Faster” is proof positive of that. Hensley has lost nothing of his magical touch.
Live Fire is the Norwegian live backing-band Hensley has been working with for five years now and is comprised of Tom Arne Fossheim on drums, Sid Rinsby on bass, Ken Ingwersen on guitar, and Eiríkur Hauksson next to Ken Hensley as singer.
Recorded in Riga, Latvia, “Faster” offers everything you would expect from a classic Ken Hensley record – and more.

Opening up with the mystical and mesmerizing melodic rock of “Set Me Free (From Yesterday)”, Hensley & Live Fire deliver the goods as well as setting the tone for an album that is nothing short of strong songwriting, excellent harmonies, hooks and pure playfulness.
Songs like the classic rock ballad “I Cry Alone” or “Katrine” also shows Hensley’s songwriting approach as a serious storyteller.
“My friend and co-producer Danny has lost in a house fire his wife and three year old son. I was wondering, how will he cope with that. It was then that said that to properly process it at all this may just have to cry alone for themselves. This sentence no longer get out of my head and that was the trigger for this song” says Ken.

Title track “Faster” is a good-humored speed rocker, driven by Hensley’s secret passion; Formula One races. “The engine noise you can hear at the beginning of the song come from genuine Ferrari engines, which was taken by our sound man a few years ago at the Hockenheim Ring.”
“The End Of Never” and “(At) The Last Minute” are both catchy and melodic tunes, while “Slippin’ Away (The Lovers Curse)” is a great midtempo with excellent backing vocal arrangements.
“Beyond The Starz” is the only track on the album with some progg influences, featuring an amazing punchy guitar solo at the end of the song.
“Somewhere In Paradise” has tons of melody, with very good guitars by Hensley and Ingwersen, and shows clearly Hauksson abilities as vocalist.
An expression of energy and driving force is also the final piece of the album, the melodic rock anthem “Fill Your Head (With Rock)”. “I read many comments from people who say that rock’n’roll is dead, on the other side I play on so many festivals, where people rocks out like crazy. Rock is far from dead. I like the energy of this song and its message: Let’s just purely the Rock”.
Bonus track “Circle Of Hands”, recorded live with The Norwegian Radio Orchestra, is a superb sympho infused composition full of class and good taste.

“Faster” is a very good melodic rock album, with great melodies and an organic sound.
Ken himself said that he wanted to make an album with a ‘band feel’, the way it used to be, and with this new recording he has achieved it.
All the musicians of Live Fire are terrific and energetic, production is crisp and clear with a very classy approach.
“Faster” shows that Hensley’s head and soul are still full of rock, and hopefully will be for quite some more albums and shows to come.

01 – Set Me Free (From Yesterday)
02 – The Curse
03 – I Cry Alone
04 – Katrine
05 – Faster
06 – Slippin’ Away (The Lover’s Curse)
07 – The End Of Never
08 – Beyond The Starz
09 – (At) The Last Minute
10 – Somewhere (In Paradise)
11 – Fill Your Head (With Rock)
12 – Circle Of Hands (with The Norwegian Radio Orchestra) [bonus]

Ken Hensley – vocals, keyboards, guitars
Eirikur Hauksson – vocals, guitar
Ken Ingwersen – lead guitar, backing vocals
Sid Ringsby – bass, backing vocals
Tom Arne Fossheim – drums
The Norwegian Radio Orchestra (12)

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3 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Sounds very promising but, here we go again, I miss so badly David Byron voice, or at least John Lawton. Sorry guys but GOOD TIMES like that never come back. Even though this album sounds very Byronesque and I think it's good.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Faster is probably the best that has been out for a long time in the history of rock.
    Eric Hauksson proves it on this album that he is one of the best rock singers in the world today.
    Excellent job.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I guess some of the (slower)songs are really fine and also Ken´s voice is sounding very good.
    A song like "I cry alone" is a great ballad and
    in my mind I imagine how it would be, to hear
    David Byron singing this song.
    Would be really wonderful!

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