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|23 Acez - Redemption Waves (2015) Album Review|| |
23 Acez - Redemption Waves (2015)
Running Time - 44:06
23 Acez are a completely new name to me, however 'Redemption Waves' is their second album. Formed in 2010, they are based in Wachtebeke, Belgium and according to their Facebook page, and advert for this album, play a mixture of Hard Melodic Rock, Metal, Pop and Prog...Heavy though catchy! Well, that's quite a mix of styles isn't, so the question is have 23 Acez managed to combine everything successfully?
Certainly the album gets off to a fairly strong start with both 'Loopholes' and 'Alone' having an almost latter day Skid Row feel to them, both are catchy and enjoyable slices of Rock. Putting your 'big ballad', in this case 'The Bigger Picture' so early on in the running order could be an issue, but once again 23 Acez pull it off very well and it has a touch of Journey about it, which is no bad thing. (click on the YouTube link below to watch the video clip of this song). 'Colors On The Ceiling' has a good swagger to it, sort of Alter Bridge meets Guns N' Roses and the title track, whilst being a darker, more slowly building song that feels quite different in style to what has gone before gets a fair thumbs up!
At this point in the album things go a little bit awry. 'My Blood' begins with a synth heavy, almost Euro Pop feel and never really recovers. 'Descending' redresses the balance slightly. It has a better chorus and is heavier but still commercial and depending on your interpretation of what Progressive is could be seen as the track that introduces that element of the band's sound. Then there are two tracks 'From The Moment' and 'Looking Back' that come across as both quite generic Melodic Rock, definitely more filler than killer. This leaves 'Morning Sun' which is a much stronger finish to the album, melodic and catchy!
Hopefully, you will know by now that it is very rare for me to mention every song by title in a review. I find track by track reviews tedious at best, but it felt right to give you them here with a brief description because it highlights what I think is 23 Acez main problem. I'm not sure they know what sort of band they want to be! Some bands meld multiple styles and influences into a single song seamlessly but here we get a collection of ten tracks that all feel like they've been written by different people for different bands. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with any of them, just that they don't all seem to go together very well and it all feels a bit jarring!
On the plus side there is a consistent high point throughout and that is the guitar work of Tom Tas, whose fluid and very good solos stand out beautifully. Vocalist Benny Willaert has a sound set of pipes, certainly better than some singers I've heard recently and Tom Mundez and Jonathan Braeckman, on bass and drums respectively, do everything that is asked of them with plenty of style. Production is also good and every instrument can be heard in the mix!
Personally I think the first four songs on 'Redemption Waves' are by far the strongest, they certainly suit the vocals better and if 23 Acez were to decide on some sort of direction then that would be the one I would be happy with them choosing. Even if that doesn't happen then I think there certainly needs to be more focus and a little less filler. This is not a bad album by any means, it's just one that lacks coherence!
Review written exclusively for Brutiful Entertainment by Rick Tilley: