LIVESAY – Frozen Hell (2016)
Kivel Records is a prestigious melodic hard rock label known for some really killer releases in the past, and they continue in this vein with “Frozen Hell“, the new album from New Yorkers LIVESAY.
The band was formed back in 1991 and has already released three full-length efforts, but for this new album they have developed a new sound: gone are the slightly neo-classical metal touches in favor of melodic hard rock stylings, and there’s a much modern production but still retaining their classic ’80s / early ’90s type of songwriting.
After the first spin I have to say “Frozen Hell” rocks big, big time. Livesay offer a brand of classy melodic hard rock spiced with some edgy moments, yet always melodic.
You have sharp guitar lines, passionate vocals, catchy hooks & choruses and a bunch of solid tracks in it. I am not completely convinced by the drum arrangements on a couple of tracks, but overall, the disc sounds punchy and clear.
Guitarist Gregg Livesay comes from the famous ‘Shrapnel school’ with his guitar licks bringing to mind George Lynch (and alike) and the kind of playing he develops in Lynch Mob. This is one of the things that I loved from “Frozen Hell”.
And of course, Shawn Pelata (ex Line of Fire) potent at the same time clean vocals and the way he arranges & perform a multi-layered set of vocals resulting in a stupendous harmony work, especially on the choruses.
After a short but intense intro comes the first big moment from the new record; “Leaving” grabs you at first listen, a groovy hard rock stomper with a strong ’80s vibe to it and lots of attitude. It’s followed by a more midtempo paced rocker titled “Slaved And Bounded”, equally effective.
Next, “With Or Without You” is one of the highlights from “Frozen Hell”, starting with that kind of late ’80s AOR feeling complete with classy keyboards. Big guitars, solid verses and a killer chorus. Additionally, the drums sound great here. This track alone worth the album.
Another winner is “Welcome To The Real World”, a song that will be appreciated by each and every fan of bands such as earlier Winger and Dokken.
We have another AORish tune on “Stop Believing” with some Europe feel circa Prisoners In Paradise yet clearly ‘American’. Awesome harmony vocals here.
The faster-paced rocker of “Comes Of Age” has lots of groove, while in “Since You’ve Been Gone” we are dealing with a fine cover from this Rainbow classic.
Title track “Frozen Hell” add some edge over its pumping rhythm section, then “Spread Your Wings”, the song that closes the new album, is a well crafted power ballad with a strong backbone.
Livesay’s last album “Frozen Hell” sports a more modern sound production-wise, but the skeleton of the songwriting is classic late 80s / early 90s melodic rock / hard rock with some killer edgy AOR touches here and there.
It’s a truly effective album as a whole. And Rocks.
01 – Intro
02 – Leaving
03 – Slaved and Bound
04 – With or Without You
05 – Age of Reason
06 – Welcome to the Real World
07 – Stop Believing
08 – Comes of Age
09 – Since You’ve Been Gone
10 – Frozen Hell
11 – Spread Your Wings
Shawn Pelata (vocals)
Gregg Livesay (guitars)
Mat Mahoney (bass)
Tony Stahl (keyboards, vocals)
Tim Hunington (drums)
BUY IT !