By Kev Rowland

There are times when I get incredibly frustrated, and this is one of them. I was sent this album to review, yet attempting to discover anything out about it is nigh on impossible. The artist’s website hasn’t been properly updated in years, and attempts to contact them directly has met with no response. What I know for certain is the band is led by Doug Rausch (vocals, keyboards), and this is the second release (following on from the debut in 2010). The actual band line-up is completed by Joe Fine (bass), Gary Wehrkamp (guitar) and Chris Ruffini (drums) and I believe that guests include Mark Zonder (Fates Warning), Ryo Okumoto (Spock’s Beard) and guitarist Brendt Allman (Shadow Gallery).

The real reason I am so frustrated is that this is a bloody excellent album, one that I have enjoyed playing a great deal, yet I’m not sure if it is ever going to gain the kudos it deserves. Musically it has a lot in common with City Boy, Queen, and 3rdDegree with plenty of piano-based soft melodic prog rockers which are real songs, that are stacked full of commercial riffs and great vocals. I’ve even found myself singing some of the songs from the album around the house, something that happens incredibly rarely. It doesn’t seem to matter which track I am listening to, as whatever one that is, is definitely my favorite of the moment. This is a truly superb album which will appeal to lovers of all type of melodic music as they switch from bombastic rock to acoustic guitar into something more rocky then let piano take control and drive it all along. This truly is a wonderful album that makes me smile each and every time I play it and isn’t that sometimes all we need?