76: Revival Arrival

Check out a song from the album on the MUSIC page, or order the album here.  Now... review time!  Time to tell you what I think of The Answer’s newest album, Revival!  When contemplating the quality of an album, there are several things that I take into account: how do the songs stand out individually, how do they stack up on the album as a whole, how many filler songs are there, how good’s the sound quality, the playing, etc?  Only three albums I’ve ever listened to have gotten the full score of 10/10, so you know how good I think Revival is when I say it deserves a definitive 9/10.

Here are the few reasons why it didn't reach a ten.  Keep in mind that this is me nitpicking at an album that I have otherwise ranked as close to perfect.  The Answer are experts at creating awesome, catchy, and recognizeable opening riffs for their songs, which has always been one of their strongest points.  This album has those amazing riffs, but not as many as there were on previous albums.  There are aslo fewer blues elements in the songs than on previous albums, which is another thing The Answer excel at, and I would've liked to hear more of.  Lastly, the volume on some of the songs starts out really low, and then blasts again once the main riff starts.  This is done on purpose for a hard-hitting effect, but it also effectively kills your ears if you turned the sound up to hear the beginning.  Those few cons are the only ones.

Now for everything great about it!  While The Answer’s previous album did contained more blues elements than this one, the band make up for it with an incredible amount of beauty surrounding every song.  You’ll find a lot of gospel elements in the singing, and the choruses are almost too pretty not to fall in love with.  The guitar playing of Paul Mahon is top-notch; every solo is incredibly well executed, blending slower bends and wails with faster fretting in seamless badassery.  Singer Cormac Neeson’s voice is awesome as usual, the lyrics are well-paced, and the harmonies are incredibly powerful.  Also impressive is the mixing and production of the album, which reaches very low lows, without drowning out ANY of the highs or mids.  Aside from the volume shifts I mentioned, everything sounds excellent.  Just remember that the first song starts out really quiet and you’ll be fine.

The Answer have never been a band to stick to a formula, and this album helps to strengthen them as a hard rock band who, though rooted in blues and classic rock, are brilliantly original.  The songs are classics on their own, and they congrue to make an album of non-stop, hard-hitting entertainment, without ever feeling repetetive, drawn out, or extraneous.  The journey through the album takes you from Blues to Beauty, seamlessly connected through hard rock.  Utterly fantastic.  Great job to The Answer, I love you guys.  Revival gets a score of 9/10.

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