THE LAST RENEGADES (Tokyo Blade’s Andy Boulton) – Valley Of The Kings (2020)
Hot on the heels of Tokyo Blade’s recent album ‘Dark Revolution’, founder member Andy Boulton and his side project THE LAST RENEGADES is releasing “Valley Of The Kings“. This is a collaboration between Andy and Irish vocalist “Aio” (Adrian O’Shaughnessy), musically a mix of hard rock and ’80s classic metal with historical imagery lyrics, really strong and entertaining.
Way back in time, Andy and Aio found each other through the internet and wrote a couple of songs together. One of which is the song “When Will I See You Again”, a great power ballad and one of the best tracks featured on this, their first album together.
Owing to Aio’s commitments and Andy’s work with Tokyo Blade, it didn’t come to anything.
Fast forward to 2019 and Aio wrote to Andy following the release of the Tokyo Blade album “Unbroken” just to say “Hi” and touch base.
A conversation between them followed and they decided it would be fun to write together just for fun and to satisfy their creative leanings. One thing lead to another and in no time they had enough for an album, as they both have their own home studios recording was quick and simple.
“Valley Of The Kings” is rocking, obviously guitar driven hard n’ heavy, and obviously ’80s sounding. The song lyrics are part of that amusement, bringing to mind Iron Maiden’s historical references.
As few examples, opening track was inspired by a serial killer called Colonel Russel Williams. Andy created some truly frightening soundscapes for this one.
The theme of ‘300 Strong’ is based on the Spartan 300 legend, with Aio delivering an epic performance and Boulton spitting some energetic guitar drove.
And as you guess with the album artwork title track ‘Valley of the Kings’ tells an Egyptian story. while Andy rocks with middle eastern style guitar lick and a melodic solo.
While “Valley Of The Kings” is very ’80s as a whole, this album is a child of modern times; Andy and Aio have never even met in person, but they’ve produced an album that is better than many out there with a huge budget behind.
It’s perfectly recorded, mixed and executed, and the songs are really stupendous. A studio project, but the kind that glue and rock like few.
01 – Colonel Kill
02 – Mr Smile
03 – 300 Strong
04 – Valley of the Kings
05 – Across the Great Divide
06 – Bringers of War
07 – Serial Killer
08 – My Yesterdays
09 – Winning
10 – When Will I See You Again
Adrian O’Shaughnessy (Aio) – vocals
Andy Boulton – guitars, bass, drums, synths