If the Danish band Royal Hunt collided with the Israeli progressive rock outfit Orphaned Land, then you may imagine the overall style and sound of Red Rose. On their second studio album On The Cusp Of Change, Red Rose charge onward through eight songs backed by the beat of Orphaned Land drummer, Matan Shmuely. With constantly changing song structures and melody spilling out for all to hear, eight songs is easier to digest and process in comparison to producing a longer length of content.
The production is very rich and compliments the performance of the band. The man who handled production duties for Helloween on their first two Keeper Of The Seven Keys albums is responsible for bringing out a polished sound, a certain Tommy Hansen.
Highlights from the eight tracks on offer include Chasing Freedom, Original Sin with a wonderful instrumental break and Don’t Believe These Tales which also showcases some good instrumental work between the organ and the guitar. A ballad blossoms in amongst this court of top musicianship in the form of Alone In The Night.
On The Cusp Of Change entertains and delivers with copious amounts of melody and virtuosity throughout, taking in the opening lengthy When Roses Faded and showing us the exit on the final epic track Seize The Day. These book ends allow the six songs in the middle to cast their spell. If the guitars were allowed to surface more and the layers of keyboard and symphonic touches mixed a little deeper, then this album may have carried a punch to meet the melody. But as it is, it’s a good album that rides on a whimsical cloud, instead of a great album that bares witness to a sword-brandishing knight that gallops forward on his stride. You could say, every red rose has its thorn.
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