CHRIS CAFFERY – Your Heaven Is Real (2015)
For his first solo release in six years, Trans Siberian Orchestra / Savatage guitarist, vocalist, songwriter CHRIS CAFFERY has enlisted the help of virtuoso drummer Brian Tichy (Whitesnake, Billy Idol, Ozzy Osbourne) and Grammy-nominated keyboardist and composer to create “Your Heaven Is Real”, available today, July 31, on digipak CD.
“Your Heaven Is Real” is a 13 song collection of that not only continues to display Caffery stellar guitar chops but also his continued confident & improving vocal ability and strong songwriting skills.
“Your Heaven Is Real” was recorded, mixed and produced by Caffery at Face The Music Studios in New York with additional recording done by Lonnie Park at Ultimate Sound in Groton, NY, and Brian Tichy’s Big Timers Studio in Canyon Country, CA.
Instantly memorable and catchy, Your Heaven is Real is immediately more appealing and accessible than its predecessor, filled with some of Caffery’s heaviest as well as most commercial sounding material to date.
The opening title track, a tale of a very true frightening situation experienced by the guitarist, kicks in with sledgehammer riffs and snarling vocals, a true headbanger’s delight and easily one of the must hear songs on the album.
“Arm And a Leg” is another dark, menacing slice of metal, complete with Caffery’s venomous ‘Jon Oliva-meets-Alice Cooper-meets-Sebastian Bach’ vocal delivery, which is then followed up by the instantly catchy, hook laden metal anthem “Just Fine”, one of the most upbeat, fun songs he’s ever recorded, complete with a killer chorus and great guitar solo.
Things take a turn for the poignant & melancholy on the Savatage sounding “Why”, a fabulous song with a great lyrical message and emotional vocals (some of Chris’ best ever) to go along with many guitar and keyboard textures. Without a doubt it’s another highlight of the album, and pushes past the 7-minute length as the one of the albums two epics.
“Damned If You Do, Dead If You Don’t” is an upbeat schizoid gem, complete with complex riffs and some futuristic, almost prog-rock styled synths, while the blazing instrumental “Hot Wheelz” (dedicated to a special someone perhaps?) is chock full of manic drumming from Tichy and plenty of Caffery’s blazing guitar licks.
“I Never Knew” is more of an atmospheric rocker thick with keyboards and layers of lush guitar work, providing the framework for Caffery to inject some heartfelt, hook laden vocal passages. It’s a nice change of pace, and I’d love to hear more in this style from him.
The back end of the CD is equally as strong, kicking off with the energetic riff monger “Sick and Tired”, and continuing on with the mid paced, grinding “Death By Design”, a doom laden piece that will instantly appeal to fans of vintage Savatage as well as Black Sabbath.
After the brief but lovely guitar instrumental “2-26-15”, Caffery unleashes “Too Soon To Be Too Late”, a rampaging, addicting example of metal guitar firepower packed with catchy vocal hooks and irresistible melodies. This is one of those songs that if it existed in 1987 would have been a huge hit with teenage hard rock & heavy metal fans.
The second of Your Heaven is Real’s lengthy songs is “Over and Over”, an emotional ballad that slowly builds to a powerful climax, again showcasing Caffery’s confident vocals and featuring a sizzling guitar solo. This leads to the gorgeous “Come Home”, a short keyboard/guitar/vocal piece that takes the album out on a tranquil note, again displaying the huge amount of variety that Caffery has included on this fine new release.
Chris Caffery is a hugely talented, completed musician, something already heard in Trans Siberian Orchestra and Savatage, but in his solo releases the man finds space to develop his varied songwriting skills.
The songs in “Your Heaven Is Real” are explorative, far from ordinary, but he is able as well to pen a catchy heavy tune. The playing and arrangements are always interesting, however, sometimes are buried into a disparate production as few tracks sound little muddy to my ears.
Anyway, “Your Heaven Is Real” permeates with positive energy, power and majesty, obviously a very personal album for the artist but ultimately his most revealing.
01. Your Heaven Is Real
02. Arm And A Leg
03. Just Fine
05. Damned If You Do, Dead If You Don’t
06. Hot Wheelz
07. I Never Knew
08. Sick And Tired
09. Death By Design
11. Too Soon To Be Too Late
12. Over And Over
13. Come Home
Chris Caffery – Guitars, Vocals, Bass, Keyboards
Brian Tichy – Drums (Whitesnake, Ozzy, Billy Idol)
Lonnie Park – Keyboards
Abigail Stahlschmidt – guest Violin on 12
BUY IT !