EDGE OF THE BLADE – The Ghosts Of Humans (2015)
EDGE OF THE BLADE is the brainchild of a talented musician / songwriter / producer and studio engineer Andrew Chick, an exciting new project that features two veterans from the British Melodic Hard Rock scene, namely the former drummer for SHY Alan Kelly and the highly awaited return of Mr. John Francis from the After Hours fame.
Their first album “The Ghosts Of Humans” will hit the streets soon published by Escape Music.
This is edgy Melodic Hard Rock (with rocking AOR touches) of the highest order, powerful and surprisingly stronger than expected, notably the noble voice of John Francis and this particular overall feeling of modernism under a new found metallic nature is salutary here, that sensation of greatness is even improved by a slightly down-tuned riffage convention, and an innovative sound design with sharp guitar prominence.
I’m guessing there’s nothing surprising about their band name: Edge Of The Blade is also a Journey song, from the Frontiers album.
After the first spins, I might even say that Edge Of The Blade sounds like a modern Journey, if that Journey chose to pick up some vibes from Nineties and wrap the whole thing with a modern sound.
And Francis, in this musical context, certainly has some Steve Perry timbre in his voice.
John Francis recorded two wonderful albums with After Hours, but that was 25 years ago. Don’t worry, he doesn’t has loosened any of his pipes. Mostly, he sounds like a husky, sometimes raspy seasoned Perry, yet still singing with melody and stability.
After these things, the fundamental foundation of Edge Of The Blade’s music is classic melodic hard rock with some edgy metal and orinal arrangements. They probably lean somewhat towards the latter thanks to Chick’s sharp riffage and the relatively heavy bottom end. Actually the riffs sound thick as if the chord structure was duplicated and layered over itself.
Putting these things together, there is definitely a singularity of sound for Edge Of The Blade. The songs may differ in arrangement, but they do have a similar sound or tone throughout this album.
Indeed, this is very attractive sound, but you always need some good songwriting talent to fully develop to its maximum. That’s also the good thing about “The Ghosts Of Humans”: the songs are always first and in top notch category.
Just check opener “Vital Signs” (reminiscent of latter day Magnum) or “Everything I Own” (akin Europe 2015) where Alan Kelly’s drums really carry the song.
“Believer” has a chugging ’90s feel but with some great keyboards, “The Taken” add modernity to its thick riffs, while “River Runs Red” is a killer, rocking ballad where Francis shine.
In EDGE OF THE BLADE all feels really classic melodic hard rock, but far from a cash-in speculation on the reputation of the line-up, or on the nostalgic side, their first album “The Ghosts Of Humans” is somehow refreshing.
The songs are effective and punchy, penned with the classic ’80s style in mind but with numerous original arrangements and twists on par with the contemporary formula / sound, richer and more adventurous than any preconception.
Something healthy is happening in the Melodic Hard Rock scene: the genre is slowly regenerating itself, and bands like Degreed (with their latest CD) or EDGE OF THE BLADE are on the peak of this phenomenon.
01. Vital Signs
03. Everything I Own
04. Mr. Hell
05. River Runs Red
06. Who’s In Control
07. The Taken
08. Down on My Knees
09. The Ghosts of Humans
10. Promised Land
John Francis – Lead & Backing Vocals (ex After Hours)
Alan Kelly – Drums (ex Shy)
Andrew Chick – Guitars, Keyboards