ACACIA AVENUE – Early Warning (2016)
Super talented Danish guitar player Torben Enevoldsen (Fate, Fatal Force, Section A) is presenting the third installment from other of his projects called ACACIA AVENUE. To be released by Perris Records, the album entitled “Early Warning“, as happened with the previous two, features an impressive list of musicians involved.
Enevoldsen can write and play everything from prog metal to AOR, and he does all with class and gusto. ACACIA AVENUE is one of his projects started six years ago, where he pours his passion for classic Melodic Hard Rock in the Scandinavian style spiced with AOR melodies.
This is basically a studio project from Torben Enevoldsen, with him playing all guitars, keyboards, bass (except for two songs where guest Peter Steincke from Fate and Pontus Egberg / The Poodles), the keyboards as well as singing some lead and background vocals.
Bandmate in Fatal Force Dennis Hansen did the all the drums (except for one song guesting the great Anders Johansson) and as always, the majority of the recordings took place at Torben’s “Funny Farm Studios” in Denmark, all produced & mixed by him.
Of course, for the lead vocal duties Enevoldsen has called, as happened with the previous two albums, some terrific cats from the genre.
We have superb Canadian singer Rob Moratti (ExSaga, Final Frontier), the always veritable Steve Newman (Newman), Torben Lysholm (Pangea, Mysterell), Albin Ljungqvist, Andy Engberg (Sorcerer, ex220 Volt) and all-terrain shouter Mats Levén.
All tracks are solid, plenty of truly melodious instrumentation and smooth vocal performances.
If I have to pick some of the bunch, perhaps the 2 having Steve Newman participating are among my favorites; title track “Early Warning” and “Time To Listen”. Newman is singing better and better and he does a really good job.
Other notable cut a track called “Broken Dreams”, featuring Albin Ljungqvist (he also contributed on the previous Acacia Avenue albums) which is stupendous vocalist and I do not understand with he is not part of an established band actually.
“Early Warning” is another really good release for the Acacia Avenue moniker, Torben Enevoldsen’s vehicle for his Melodic Hard Rock / AOR side.
His guitar playing is nothing short of fantastic. Just about all the songs on this release are loaded with hooks and the solos are all soulful, tasty and melodic. Although he can shred like Yngwie or Paul Gilbert, his solos for Acacia Avenue are part of the overall song melody instead of being the centerpiece.
Of course all talented vocalists increase even more the quality, plus some very good guest instrumentalists providing variation in style.
01 – Real Love
02 – Running Out Of Time
03 – Broken Dreams
04 – Early Warning
05 – Survive
06 – A New Beginning
07 – TNT
08 – Time To Listen
09 – All For Love
10 – Need To Let Go
11 – The Man In The Mirror
Torben Enevoldsen – guitars, bass, keyboards, vocals
Dennis Hansen – drums
Rob Moratti (ExSaga, Final Frontier) – vocals
Steve Newman (Newman) – vocals
Torben Lysholm (Pangea, Mysterell) – vocals
Albin Ljungqvist – vocals
Andy Engberg (Sorcerer, ex220 Volt) – vocals
Mats Levén (ex Yngwie Malmsteen) – vocals
Pontus Egberg (The Poodles) – bass
Peter Steincke (Fate) – bass
Anders Johansson (exYngwie Malmsteen) – drums
Johan Koleberg (Therion, Section A)