EDGE OF THE BLADE – Distant Shores (2021)
Featuring on lead vocals former UK AFTER HOURS vocalist John Francis alongside Alan Kelly, former drummer of SHY and multi-instrumentalist with 7HY, EDGE OF THE BLADE are back with new album ”Distant Shores” to be released by AOR Heaven Records tomorrow.
Adding lead guitarist Miguel Angel Lopez to the line up they have teamed up once again to bring you yet more exciting new material which will see roots based well and truly in AOR / melodic rock.
They have released an album previously under the name of EDGE OF THE BLADE entitled ‘The Ghosts Of Humans’ on a British label in 2015 which was produced by Andrew Chick. This saw the band venture into heavier territory with modern influences. Although this album was well received with rock fans and critics worldwide the calling back to AOR was very strong.
Musically ”Distant Shores” is faithful to these musician’s pedigree where both have excelled in previously, and saw them soar to new heights with influences from Journey and Foreigner that show their talents off to the fullest extent.
Francis is in wonderful shape throughout, his voice was ‘built’ for this kind of Arena Rock effortlessly soaring throughout – he has a wonderful mixture of grittiness yet smoothness that simply works perfectly, there are hints of Steve Perry to it, which is a huge compliment.
Miguel Angel Lopez proves himself to be a guitar player who is fluid and elegant, he shows maturity and flair, and his solos are all tasteful and powerful, he’s a real find! Alan Kelly provides perfect rhythm work, sometimes delicate, sometimes a barrage, but always immaculate, while his keyboard playing adds layers of color that are always right on the money.
This is seriously impressive and deeply memorable stuff.
The songs offered up are all genuinely wonderful pure-blood AOR / Melodic Rock, honestly, you could not ask for a more sublime selection. ‘Distant Shores’ deserves to make the band huge … it’s simply THAT good! Whether its fist pumping rocks or heartfelt ballads, this band delivers in consummate style. From the pulsing chords of opener ‘Killing Me’, it is immediately apparent that we are listening to something very special, this band knows how to deliver classic huge choruses – and songs that will dig their way into your willing subconscious – ‘Distant Shores’ is awash with real gems, and you cannot fail to fall in love with this melodic musical box.
When the band slows down, they deliver timeless, achingly beautiful love songs, I draw your attention to the exquisite jewels that are ‘Love Me Again’ and the sublime ‘Every Beat Of My Heart’ – Journey, Toto, or indeed Boston would surely be proud to have such flawless numbers among their catalogues!
When it comes to rockers, you would be hard to be the hard driving and soaring ‘Angels Fear To Tread’, which is hugely impressive, as is the uplifting ‘Life Is For Living’. However, both these are actually eclipsed by the muscular one/two salvo of ‘Wait Forever’ and ‘How Long’, which are both just perfect in every respect.
We genuinely adored this album, its everything that AOR/Melodic Rock should be about.
AOR Heaven have done well to sign this trio, it would be wonderful to think this might sell in the big numbers it deserves. If you don’t buy another album this month or even this year – buy this one! ‘Distant Shores’ is simply stunning!
Thank you to Edge Of The Blade for simply being brilliant and keep the flame alive.
01 – Killing Me
02 – Feel The Fire
03 – Angels Fear To Tread
04 – Lonely Too
05 – Life Is For Living
06 – Love Me Again
07 – Wait Forever
08 – How Long
09 – Back To You
10 – It’s The Love
11 – Every Beat Of My Heart
John Francis – vocals, guitar
Alan Kelly – drums, keys, vocals, bass
Miguel Angel Lopez – guitar, bass