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Faithsedge - "Faithsedge" (CD)

Faithsedge - "Faithsedge" CD cover image

"Faithsedge" track listing:

1. Another Chance
2. There's Still Hope
3. Let It End This Way
4. World Keeps Falling Down
5. Even If
6. Hold On
7. Take You Away
8. Somewhere In Your Heart
9. That's What Happened To Us
10. Faith-Anne
11. When It Rains

Reviewed by on May 2, 2011

"Soaring vocals pining for lost love — and even a song with a woman's name ('Faith-Anne')? Check. Van Halen-ish guitar solos that are heavy on the whammy bar? Check. Memorable melodies? Not so much. "

With Dokken and Alice Cooper in the band's DNA — courtesy of guitarist Alex De Rosso and bassist Fabrizio Grossi — it's small wonder that Faithsedge's sound on the band's debut disc is so reminiscent of mid-1980s, pre-Guns N' Roses hard rock. Soaring vocals pining for lost love — and even a song with a woman's name ("Faith-Anne")? Check. Van Halen-ish guitar solos that are heavy on the whammy bar? Check. Memorable melodies? Not so much.

Giving credit where credit's due, singer/songwriter Giancarlo Floridia's got a decent set of pipes, and tracks like "That's What Happened To Us" and "Hold On" give him plenty of room in the melodies. He's a little less convincing on rockers like "Another Chance," but never less than competent throughout the disc.

The band's star is definitely De Rosso, whose solos liven up every track. Plenty of dive-bombs on the whammy bar and harmonic squeals make "Another Chance" bounce in ways that will remind many of Van Halen or Vai. "World Keeps Falling Down" has plenty of "Eruption"-style finger-taps for those out there who miss that style of playing.

Grossi's bass and especially Tony Morra's drumming provide a solid backdrop for De Rosso and Floridia. Morra's speedy drum intro to "Somewhere In Your Heart" shows off his skill well.

With all that playing ability, it's a shame that the songwriting doesn't match up. It's strictly 1980s-by-the-numbers here on tracks like "Even If" and "Take You Away," complete with choruses laden with "whoas." A moment of slide guitar that adds grit to "Faith-Anne" disappears all too quickly, though the sitar sounds that permeate the rest of the track are interesting in their own way.

Faithsedge's self-titled debut disc features plenty of competent musicianship, but its dated approach to songwriting isn't likely to appeal to anyone but fans of mid-1980s rock. Still, it's worth a listen for those guitar solos.

Highs: Excellent musicianship, with guitarist Alex De Rosso's playing especially standing out.

Lows: Not much in the way of memorable melodies.

Bottom line: Despite great musicianship, the dated sound makes this one for '80s fans only.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)