TALON – III (2011)
Melodic rockers TALON are back into the arena with their third album simply entitled “III”.
The band’s self-titled debut was wildly praised scoring countless top-10 lists for the year but it was the next release ‘Fallen Angels’ that definitely brought Talon into the forefront of the Melodic Rock field, playing in The Gods Festival and Firefest.
Talon continue their pattern of revolving door vocalists; for this outing, Shawn Pelata (Line Of Fire) handles the microphone and gives a marvelous performance that is all attitude in the lower register and consummate skill on the high notes. His vocal prowess is complemented by thickly layered guitars sporting a gleaming edge like a polished razor blade, never losing sight of the melody for even a microsecond.
This five-piece plays classic Melodic Rock, sometimes on the AOR side, often on the harder side.
Crossing the boundaries of both styles is the first track “Crying To Me” which is powered by a strong and groovy riff, vintage keyboards and a catchy rockin’ AOR chorus. Great opener, likely one of the best songs here.
Next track “The Last Time” offers the smoother side of Talon. A clean modern AOR tune with fine melodies and well arranged backing vocals, a strong point of this quintet.
A highlight on the CD is “Did You Have To Say”, a mid-tempo track that slides along on subdued guitars and subtle keyboards before building to a catchy, harmony-heaped chorus.
Follower “Everytime” cranks along with fiery guitar acrobatics accented by a pounding back beat and punchy chorus that again features the slick harmonies of which the band is so fond.
Adding class and clout to the album is the guest lead vocal appearance of the legendary Jeff Scott Soto on the song “Take You All The Way” which is easily one of the standout tracks and sounds strikingly similar to other Soto-fronted projects such as Takara or Talisman.
Of course, what would Eighties based Melodic Rock be without some strong ballads. The acoustic driven “Maybe One Day” and the ode to friendship of “Brothers” featuring some angelic axe-work are the more representative.
The band returns to a ‘harder’ melodic rock side on the excellent “You Got What It Takes” which has got what it takes to get your head banging and your foot tapping thanks to its badass riff and stop-start rhythm.
Last track is a cover of Jefferson Starship’s classic “Jane”, versioned with a driven staccato keyboard and a really good vocal performance by Pelata.
Talon’s “III” includes some really good songs that any true-blooded Melodic Hard Rock enthusiast should have in their collection.
There are a good mix of up-tempo, mid-tempo and ballads characterized by strong songwriting, bolstered by Shawn Pelata’s melodic vocals, some stinging guitar work from Jim Kee and a tight rhythm section. The choruses are a strong point for Talon too, passionate and melodic, sticking to mind after a couple of auditions.
In other words, if you like slick Melodic Hard Rock structured around a sharp hook, catchy chorus, and big backing vocals, “III” will largely please you.
01. Crying To Me
02. The Last Time
03. Did You Have To Say
05. Take You All The Way [feat. Jeff Scott Soto]
06. Maybe One Day
07. You Don’t Know Me At All
08. Walk Away
10. When Will I
11. You Got What It Takes
12. Jane (Starship cover)
Shawn Pelata – Lead & Backing Vocals
Kory Voxen – Rhythm Guitar, Acoustic Guitar
Jim Kee – Lead Guitar
Phil Keller – Bass
Eric Ragno – Keyboards
John Parker – Drums
Erik Johnson – Backing Vocals
Jeff Scott Soto – Lead & Backing Vocals on ‘Take You All The Way’
BUY IT !