INGLORIOUS – Ride To Nowhere

After two brilliant albums with lots of great reviews by both media and fans – they were even hailed as the great new hope of Rock – the shit hit fan big time. The band that Brian May of Queen said to be new Deep Purple fell apart in the blink of an eye. Inglorious had just finished recording their third album – this one – and even had a video-single out when three members – guitarists Andreas Z Eriksson and Drew Lowe and bassist Colin Parkinson – quit the band right on the spot. The confusion was total as no real explanation was given at the time. Voices said that singer Nathan James’ big ego and dictatorship was the reason, something that was fuelled when a replacement for Eriksson came the day after his leaving, a young guy named Danny Dela Cruz, but nothing could really confirm that James was the bad guy here. Very little has been said of the matter more than some fans’ outbursts on social media. What stands clear though is that Inglorious have/had a lot bigger following than I knew of and that the break-up hardly was beneficial for the band.

With the release of this new record, replacements for Parkinson and Lowe has been made: new members are guitarist Dan Stevens and bassist Vinnie Colla but none of the new members are on this record and that’s why the band picture in this review are of the line-up that recorded this album. Personally, I think the break-up is a pity – I saw Inglorious play a fantastic gig at Sweden Rock last summer and I am still quite addicted to the band’s two first albums so, yeah, I call myself a fan of the band. Still, as I wrote, this album was written and recorded by the band that released the first two albums so, since I dug the first single as well, I had some high expectations on the band’s third effort.

And it is this album’s opening track, “Where Are You Now” (a title that seems almost prophetic now), that was the single mentioned above. It’s starts with a pulsating bass-line and groovy drum beats beneath a laid-back arrangement in the verses. The song pumps itself up in the pre-chorus and when the actual chorus sets in, the tune explodes and hits like a ton of bricks. The tune sounds very Inglorious, like Deep Purple had danced with late 80’s Whitesnake. This is a real killer that should not disappoint any fan of the band. “Freak Show” is uptempo and driving, heavy and punchy with a rough edge. It’s more aggressive than we’re used to but it still sounds like Inglorious all the way through. The refrain slows the tempo some and huge melodies appear without turning the least Pop or hit-searching. It’s a total rocker, slamming with a good live feel. Very good.

“Never Alone” holds a slower pace and is a ballad-like arena-rocker that comes with a groovy and somewhat funky rhythm where the fretless bass gives the song a different sound. It’s a blues-infected Classic Rock tune so no power-ballad early 90’s style here. The heavier middle-break changes the dynamics some but it’s all for the better and the big, catchy chorus brings the song home. A killer track and a single to be. “Tomorrow” is also in mid tempo but with a heavy rhythm that grooves and the fat guitar-riffs makes for a beefy, striking rocker. The tune is completed by a brilliantly catchy refrain that hits right away without being the least radio-friendly. Great. “Queen” is punchy and rough with a kicking edge that holds a big Hard Rock swing in the verses and a chorus that’s straight-forward and in-your-face. It’s a powerhouse ass-kicker with a live-feel that’ll sound awesome from the stage.

“Liar” is a pissed-off MF of a song. The rhythm section is thunderous, the roaring guitars roughs things up and the whole tune is ballsy and tough. Lyrically, the tune is just as aggressive and I’m wondering who the song is aimed at. Still, it holds a very memorable main-melody and the refrain sticks right away without being the least Pop or radio-friendly. Great stuff. “Time To Go” (another prophetic title…?) is a Classic Rock tune, with a kick-ass groove with some rough edges. The tune holds a funky swagger which makes it über-groovy, a big fat refrain and huge live-feel that will kick lots of ass when the tour starts. There is also a chunk of late 80’s Arena Rock thrown in which gives the tune more variation. This song is what might come out of some hard partying between Deep Purple, late 80’s Whitesnake and Dan Reed Network. How awesome.

Latest single “I Don’t Know You” brings on a massive Deep Purple Mk III influence – I can hear Glenn Hughes sing this. The pre-chorus also makes me think of Dio-era Rainbow. The verses are slow and laid-back, almost ballad-like but the rest of the song takes a heavier route. The song holds a beast of a chorus but don’t expect any radio-flirting here – it’s basic, rowdy, spot-on and it sticks like glue. This deserves to be a major hit! “While She Sleeps” sounds like a heavier Whitesnake complete with a rolling and punchy rhythm. It’s a rowdy tune with a slick melody and some heavier parts that even borders to Metal. Very good. The title-track is huge, slower in pace with a heavy arrangement, totally 70’s Hard Rock and I hear Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath all at once. The massive refrain brings up the speed with both catchiness and punch. Brilliant! Closing track “Glory Days” strips things down to just acoustic guitars and vocals. A very earthy song, heartfelt and soulful, the album – and this line-up – say goodbye for now and they do it with heart and passion.

Style-wise, this record is slightly heavier than the previous two but the Inglorious style and sound are pretty much intact. Quality-wise, there nothing to complain about either. I might hold the two previous ones a bit higher but it’s not by much at all. As usual, the performances here are all world-class – I must say this band’s line-up really is something else. With three killer records in a row, only the sky should be the limit for Inglorious now and it’s about time the world wakes up and finds out about this brilliant Rock-band. However, it’s with their next album that James, drummer Phil Beaver and their new cohorts will have their trial by fire. This album – as the previous ones – was co-written by the band and the new guys have to step up and prove themselves in that department as well so that this album’s title won’t be prophetic as well.

8/10

More Inglorious reviews:

Inglorious
II

Tracklist:

1. Where Are You Now?
2. Freak Show
3. Never Alone
4. Tomorrow
5. Queen
6. Liar
7. Time To Go
8. I Don’t Know You
9. While She Sleeps
10. Ride To Nowhere
11. Glory Days

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