FAITHSEDGE – Faithsedge (2011)
2011 has proven to be a strong year in terms of debut releases, and California’s FAITHSEDGE continues this much-welcomed trend by delivering a strong and melodic 11-track album that will please just about every fan of melodic hard rock.
Even though this is a debut CD, the members of Faithsedge are not newcomers to the music scene.
Lead vocalist Giancarlo Floridia may be the least recognizable member of the band, but he is the founder of the group and primary songwriter. He has worked with producers Mike Talanca (David Bowie, Foreigner) and Juan Croucier (Ratt).
His voice is clear with a very good range and an awesome high falsetto. Unlike many newcomers, Floridia does not use the falsetto as a crutch or gimmick – it is just another tool in his vocal arsenal and is used sparingly but effectively.
Well-respected producer and bass player Fabrizio Grossi (Steve Lukather, Alice Cooper, Starbreaker) contributed not only his production talents, but also his powerful bass skills.
Veteran guitarist Alex De Rosso (Dokken, solo) provides some awesome lead and rhythm licks, and proves he’s one of the best in the business. Drummer Tony Morra (Van Zant, Rebecca St. James) is no slouch either. His fine drum work complements the music perfectly, whether big and booming or calm and intricate.
The album was even mastered by a true metal stalwart – Tom Baker, who has worked with Judas Priest and Motley Crue.
Eleven songs fill Faithsedge debut: excepting one ballad, they’re all strong rockers.
Sweeping riffs open “Another Chance”. The lead track easily sets the tone for the rest of the album – big hooks, upbeat lyrics, rapid fire drums, intricate bass, crisp vocals and bubbling with energy.
Intense guitars and a great sing along chorus power “There’s Still Hope” – influences of Dokken and Ratt abound.
A cool bass groove, big guitars and great vocals make “Let It End This Way” one of the bast tracks on the album.
The band ramps up the power again on “World Keeps Falling Down” – another fine sing-along chorus, a bouncy bass line, and a bit of double bass push this one along.
“Even If” features some of the best rhythm work and slickest groove on the album – the coordination between Grossi’s bass, Morra’s drums and de Rosso’s guitar is clockwork-precise.
Faithsedge tips a hat to the ’80s with the great and emotional power ballad “Hold On” – a vocal showpiece for Giancarlo Floridia. Appealing guitar work by De Rosso too.
“Take You Away” has a great high energy rock groove, again with a bit of a late-’80s, early ’90s feel to it, and De Rosso’s best guitar work.
An intense prog-metal riff opens “Somewhere In Your Heart,” while some great bass and strong vocals push it over the top.
A great Ratt-influenced riff drives the upbeat and kicky “That’s What Happened To Us,” while the semi-midtempo “Faith-Anne” is rich with a thick and smoky bluesy-rock groove.
The CD wraps with the very up tempo “When It Rains” – perhaps the leading contender for Faithsedge’s arena rocker tune.
Faithsedge is more than a solid debut album for the band – one they can be proud of.
Strong melodies, interesting and timely lyrics and fine performances all contribute to making this release a success. Lyrically positive, faith is the keystone of most of the songs – whether faith in one’s self, faith in another, faith in mankind, or faith in something/someone beyond.
Singer Giancarlo Floridia has a voice to be reckoned with — he has all the power and prowess to impress even the most cynical of fans of this genre. The rhythm section, consisting of bassist Fabrizio Grossi and drummer Tony Morra are so tight that you can’t even breath.
Of course let’s not forget the signature licks and laser sharp stylings from former Dokken guitarist Alex De Rosso — who pushes this release to a place of honor amongst even the most relished of hair-metal staples from back in the day.
Mix and engineering has a really warm tone and a very polished sound.
The more I listen this CD the more I’m impressed. It’s not enough to say that this is simply derivative melodic hard rock with some metal edge. It’s authentic and quite well done, and so also quite entertaining.
01 – Another Chance
02 – There’s Still Hope
03 – Let It End This Way
04 – World Keeps Falling Down
05 – Even If
06 – Hold On
07 – Take You Away
08 – Somewhere In Your Heart
09 – That’s What Happened To Us
10 – Faith-Anne
11 – When It Rains
Giancarlo Floridia – Vocals, Guitar
Alex De Rosso – Electric & Acoustic Guitars
Fabrizio Grossi – Bass
Tony Morra – Drums & Percussion
IF YOU LIKE IT, BUY IT!