D’ERCOLE – The Ballad of C.L. (2019)
Multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Phil Vincent has a massive discography and has been involved in a number of projects over the years including D’ERCOLE, his partnership with guitarist Damian D’Ercole. They have a new album in their racks titled “The Ballad of C.L.”, again featuring British guitarist Vince O’Regan providing the solos and Paul Sabu appearing as guest in one track.
D’Ercole is the more melodic hard rock oriented band for Vincent, where Damian adds to the songwriting & arrangements a lite proggy touch in the Winger style, a bit of Night Ranger classic rock riffs and Paul Sabu’s solo records production feel.
“The Ballad of C.L.” is not an exception in D’Ercole’s catalog, so if enjoy melodic hard rock and AOR with strong lead vocals and melodic choruses there should be a lot to love here.
The first track “Fighting” hits you in the face immediately with its heavy guitar riffs and profuse shredding, perhaps the heaviest track on the record never losing the band’s trademark melody.
“Time & Time Again / The Way You Treated Me” is 2-in-1, with the first being prog melodic like a second hand Kansas, the latter straight ahead melodic hard. Both effective, solid songs.
“She’s a Dancer” incorporates a bluesy hard rock vibe with a classic guitar work, “As the Sun Goes Down” is written and performed in the American book of melodic rock, while melodic riff rocker “On My Way” is one of my favorites, channeling what’s best about the ‘80s.
Title track “The Ballad of C.L.” is quite surprising where the band sound different, a dirty short rocker (only 2;35 minutes) driven by dry riffs and a punchy rhythm section. Also closer “Dark Haired Lady” is new for D’Ercole standards, a classic rocker with a British vintage touch and even a boogie heart at it.
As happened with last year’s D’Ercole album, the band try to incorporate new twists and influences to this new effort “The Ballad of C.L.”, and that’s welcomed.
It’s melodic hard rock as foundation, not afraid to mix it up and offer some variation here and there, yet cohesive at sound & production.
Very solid, enjoyable stuff.
01 – Fighting
02 – Time & Time Again / The Way You Treated Me
03 – It’s All over Now
04 – See the Light
05 – She’s a Dancer
06 – As the Sun Goes Down
07 – On My Way
08 – The Ballad of C.L.
09 – Dark Haired Lady
Phil Vincent – vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards
Damian D’Ercole – guitars
B.F. D’Ercole – drums
Vince O’Regan – guitar solos
Paul Sabu – guest guitar solo