INGLORIOUS – II

A year ago, when British / Swedish classic hard rock band Inglorious released their self titled debut, there was a really big buzz surrounding the band. People like Brian May called them “a potent young Deep Purple” and producer Kevin Shirley said that Inglorious were “the best band I have heard since – I could say The Darkness, but I really mean Led Zeppelin”. Big words to live up to for a new up-coming band. And when the album was released, both rock fans and reviewers all over the world stood united – this band is awesome, the album is awesome and the album deserves to be huge! How huge said album finally became in the end, I’m not sure – at least not sales wise. But quality wise, it’s a monster of an album, full of classic hard rock where influences from bands such as Deep Purple, Whitesnake, Rainbow, Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith – 70’s based hard rock with a touch of the 80’s. So what have the band been up to after the release of their self-produced debut then? Well, the band has been touring and touring and writing and recording the follow-up. This time, it was decided that the new album would be produced by Kevin Shirley (Europe, Joe Bonamassa, Black Country Communion, Journey, Iron Maiden), a very good choice in my book. Since the album was written and recorded, guitar player Wil Taylor decided to jump the ship, leaving Nathan James (vocals), Andreas Eriksson (guitar), Colin Parkinson (bass) and Phil Beaver (drums) to find a replacement. A dude named Drew Lowe has now filled the second guitar slot. For an introduction of the band itself, go back to the Inglorious review.

The album opens with the ferociously fat riffing “I Don’t Need Your Loving”, a Led Zeppelin meets Whitesnake kick-ass rocker. The verse reminds me of David Coverdale’s “Keep On Giving Me Loving” (Northwinds, 1978). The chorus is totally spot-on, catchy without being the least radio friendly. And with that, Inglorious shows that the have stayed on the path they started walking down on the last album. “Taking The Blame” is in a faster pace and rougher in sound, very much in-your-face and kicking up dust and it comes on like a punch right in the gut. A hard classic rock track with its feet in the 70’s going into the 80’s – bloody awesome! “Tell Me Why” is full of hooks, a big ass arena rock song with a groovy swagger and a distinct and very memorable refrain. It’s in between melodic hard rock and classic dito – and it is a real winner. “Read All About It” comes with an addictive groove, an irresistible main melody and a chorus that hits bull’s-eye right from hello. It’s a fat, chunky and melodic classic rocker that wins on a KO before you even knew what hit you!

“Change Is Coming” is a melodic blues-rock number in a mid-pace with a groove and the Whitesnake meets Deep Purple chorus catches on immediately – brilliant! “Making Me Pay” comes in a slower tempo and is more of a bluesier melodic rocker, not a far cry from what Whitesnake were creating before they turned to hair spray, glitter and pop choruses in 1987 and goes on with a beat and rhythm that’s impossible not to surrender to – fantastic! “Hell Or High Water” comes on strong, dripping with perspiration and strength and the heaviest track on the album. Soundwise it’s like Deep Purple mating with Iron Maiden at an orgy held by the Graham Bonnet fronted Rainbow. How brilliant! “No Good For You” is an uptempo hard rocker that weaves 70’s and 80’s hard rock perfectly. It’s bluesy but poppy, rough yet smooth and on top a chorus that’s nothing but startling.

As catchy and groovy as the upbeat classic rocker “I Got A Feeling” might be, it somehow falters on its way. It’s not bad at all, only somewhat forgettable. That said, there are bands out there that would kill for this song. The mid-paced “Black Magic” rocks with an intoxicating groove, a brilliant arrangement, captivating melodies and the whole thing just screams of catchiness. There’s no way escaping a stupendous track like this. “Faraway” starts out as an acoustic ballad with a grand touch of Led Zep / Coverdale – Page / Whitesnake with a beautiful melody and a dreamy, floating sound. The tune explodes in a big, 70’s hard rock grooved crescendo that totally floors me. Magic! Closing track “High Class Woman” is a bona fide hard rocker, party mode style. This is classic rock in an 80’s vein – Whitesnake’s 1987 album comes to mind without the song actually sounding like that. This high-powered groove, the superb harmony vocals and the bang-on-target chorus nails the tune completely.

So, for all of you who might have thought that the debut was a lucky strike, think again because this album proves that this band is the real f**king deal. The album is in many ways a continuation of the debut, a sister album, if you will. Although they still wear their influences on their sleeves, the most obvious borrowings are left behind and the band takes further steps towards their own style, the Inglorious style – not that they ever were clones by any means. It’s also very impressing that after all the touring after the debut, Inglorious has managed to write and record an album so high in quality like this in only one year. Remember, these days bands usually takes at least two – three years in between albums so it’s quite invigorating with a band that do it like they did in the 70’s and 80’s – one album a year. I’m not sure that after all the big bands, the classic rock bands that still sells out arenas, are gone, we will ever have bands of that size again, but if that happens, Inglorious should be one of them. They have everything – the songs, the sound, the brilliant musicianship, the look to achieve that. There’s really no reason at all not to purchase this record.

9/10

More Inglorious reviews:

Inglorious

Tracklist:

1. I Don’t Need Your Loving
2. Taking The Blame
3. Tell Me Why
4. Read All About It
5. Change Is Coming
6. Making Me Pay
7. Hell Or High Water
8. No Good For You
9. I Got A Feeling
10. Black Magic
11. Faraway
12. High Class Woman

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