GARY JOHN BARDEN – Eleventh Hour (2011)

GARY JOHN BARDEN - Eleventh Hour (2011)


Gary Barden is one of the most representative voices of British hard rock.

The first time Barden appeared in the scene was as part of Michael Schenker Group, with the highly acclaimed album released in 1980. Besides the great songs and the great guitar output, Barden’s voice was one of the reasons why this album became a huge success and allowed the band to hit the road in Europe, Japan and the USA.

After that, Gary has never really been out of the rock scene, being part of bands as Statetrooper, Company Of Snakes, Silver (the project he founded with Michael Voss and Bernie Tormé), a 3 solo albums and even getting back to MSG in 2007.

With “Eleventh Hour” Gary Barden has returned, once again inserting his middle name for his solo projects as he utilizes his downtime from MSG.

Again with long time buddy Voss helping in the production and musical departments, this new solo effort is more than a respectable melodic hard rock album, and considering he’s approaching 60, definitely shows that the man still rocks in top form.

Unlike many other vocalists in the genre, Gary John Barden has a quite raw and rock ‘n’ roll friendly voice, which suits both the hard rock oriented tracks and the more melodic song equally well.

Also, it is refreshing hear songs that actually takes up some serious political topics, giving the listener some food for thought, as this album definitely does.

The opening track “Baghdad” is an aggressive hard rocker which criticizes the war in mid-east, and the similarly themed “We Are Dead” is a stompin’ heavy number as well.

The driving guitar melodies of “Fallen by the Wayside”, “Would you Wanna Do”, and “Don’t Take me for a Loser” are more hard-melodic old school tracks with emphasis on catchy choruses and classy styled riffs. Especially on “Child Of Sorrow” I recalled a familiarity as this is very MSG in style.

“All In” is more melodic rock oriented in structure, a really good guitar-driven AOR rock tune, same with the ballad-esque “Shine A Light On Me”, whilst “Blackmail” is a boogie-blues rocker in the old tradition.

The slower, darker, “Before The Eyes Of The World” broods and pulsates as atmospheric monkish choirs fuse effortlessly with the music and Barden finally steps outside of himself. Great slow guitar solo here.

On all these varied styles, Gary once again shows his vocal versatility to deliver fine performances.

Touching the full hard rock spectrum, “Eleventh Hour” is a very solid, guitar-driven hard rock release.

This is a punchy album that wallops home its musical message first and foremost, with the bonus of intelligent and thought provoking lyrics.

Barden’s vocal won’t ever let you down and musically it’s all quite bombastic, with some nice guitar and keyboard riffs and plenty of power throughout.

Michael Voss (who fronts the actual version of MSG) handles production and the sheen that the Mad Max frontman brings to the biting guitars and straight forward beats brings a grander scope to what in the wrong hands could have quite simple fare.

If you are fan of classic, honest, hard hitting yet massively melodic rock, don’t miss “Eleventh Hour”.

You’ve seen it first here, at 0dayrock

01 – Baghdad

02 – Fallen By The Wayside

03 – Child Of Sorrow

04 – What You Wanna Do

05 – We Are Dead

06 – All In

07 – Blackmail

08 – Shine A Light On Me

09 – Easy Does It

10 – Before The Eyes Of The World

11 – Don’t Take Me For A Loser

Gary Barden – Vocals

Michael Voss – Keyboards, Backing Vocals

Andrew Midgley – Guitar

Matthias Rethman – Bass

Chris Ebers – Drums


Tommy Denander – Guitar

Steve Morris (Heartland) – Guitar


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