80's, Old School
""Shake The World" is a collection of tracks which often are interesting taken separately but which, when put end to end, don't manage to catch the attention all the way through."
LOLOCELTIC (19.03.2020)  
(0) opinions (1) comment(s)
This new project of the Italian label Frontiers is called Black Swan and gathers no more and no less than Robin McAuley on vocals (McAuley Schenker Group, Michael Schenker Fest, Grand Prix...), Reb Beach on guitar (Winger, Dokken, Whitesnake...), Jeff Pilson on bass (Dokken, Dio, Foreigner...), and Matt Starr on drums (Ace Frehley, Mr. Big...). As much to say that with such a line-up, there's enough to drool and that there's little room for fears concerning the interpretation.

And it's true that things starts well. The production is excellent and leaves place for every instrument and  the eponymous title starts off very strongly after a heavy introduction. The tempo is sustained, the chorus catchy and the solo of Reb Beach is impressive. Also noteworthy is a heavy and groovy 'Big Disaster' on which the rhythm section is imperial. Other successes include the melodic mid-tempo 'Immortal Souls', which lasts more than six minutes and has a very strong rhythm, 'She's On To Us' with its big riff that crushes everything on its path and its catchy chorus, and above all 'Devided / United' which starts like a ballad enriched with piano before swinging towards a nervous finale.

Taken separately, each track can prove to be at least interesting although classic ('Unless We Change'), or release a beautiful energy on simple and effective bases ('The Rock That Rolled Away'). Of course 'Johnny Came Marching' is shamelessly inspired by Dio and 'Sacred Place' sounds a lot like Foreigner. But all this is quickly forgiven when you consider the presence of Jeff Pilson in the Mick Jones combo and the vocal similarities between Robin McAuley and Ronnie James Dio. The real problem is that the Irish singer constantly push his voice to the point of forgetting the subtleties. The best example of this is the mid-tempo ballad 'Make It Here' on which he sometimes comes close to going off the road. On 'Long Road To Nowhere', he is even joined in his excesses by Matt Starr.

Whereas he had all the elements in hand to offer an album of high level, Black Swan ends up getting lost in sterile demonstrations and end up tiring the listener, especially as the end of opus proves to be rather linear apart from the last track. In the end, "Shake The World" is just a collection of tracks which often are interesting taken separately but which, when put end to end, don't manage to catch the attention all the way through. Too bad!
- Official website

01. Shake The World - 4:35
02. Big Disaster - 4:37
03. Johnny Came Marching - 5:46
04. Immortal Souls - 6:12
05. Make It There - 5:49
06. She's On To Us - 4:41
07. The Rock That Rolled Away - 6:21
08. Long Road To Nowhere - 4:18
09. Sacred Place - 4:46
10. Unless We Change - 3:58
11. Divided/united - 5:59

Jeff Pilson: Basse
Matt Starr: Batterie
Reb Beach: Guitares
Robin Mcauley: Chant
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(1) COMMENT(S)    
Black Swan are a true supergroup and this album is largely satisfying. I am beginning to thing part of the issue with bands on Frontiers is the budgets don't allow for enough production.The songs that rock on here really rock but the middle of the album loses a little momentum for a while before refinding it at the end.
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