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Album Review : The Dead Daisies – ‘Holy Ground’

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Review by Paul Monkhouse for MPM

The Gods of Rock are pleased, their smiles radiant and burning through the haze of grey skies.

The cause for this is simple. Not only has the new album by The Dead Daisies met expectations, but it has far exceeded them.

It was always going to be good, the addition of Glenn Hughes a masterstroke to replace the departing Jon Corabi and Marco Mendoza, the ‘Voice of Rock’ probably the only person capable of filling the void left by the two stellar musicians.

As shown by Black Country Communion, the ex Purple vocalist and bass player works incredibly well when placed in a supergroup of equally talented artists and the resulting material here is some of the best in his career and The Dead Daisies history.

Kicking off with the title track, it’s all you can do to hold on by your fingertips as this absolute monster flies. ‘Holy Ground’ is most definitely up another notch, full-on rock power with the soul that only Hughes can bring and a stunning solo by his old friend Doug Aldrich.

The band have never seemed so on fire or energized as they have on this new album, the time of enforced months off the road seeing them able to focus all the energy on making this count, that pent up electricity and hard work refining this new line-up.

‘Like No Other (Bassline)’ glories in an opening that features a hugely heavy and deep grooving bass before taking off like Led Zeppelin’s unruly younger cousin with a switchblade.

The joy here is seemingly unbridled, each member of the band really stepping up to the mark and whilst not trying to outdo each other, they certainly bring a cohesive heft that hints at doubtless monumental live shows.

Once more, the funk is brought as ‘Come Alive’ bristles with a coolness that perfectly complements this classic heavy rock monster of a track.

Single ‘Bustle and Flow’ was a fantastic opening salvo for this latest version of the Daisies, an absolute beast that slots in nicely with the rest of the album, a promise of what was to come and has been fulfilled in no uncertain terms.

This is a release that needs to be played loudly but also benefits from listening to it within the comforting warmth of headphones, shutting your eyes as you let the subtle sonic touches set fire to your synapses.

Sure, the drum sound and vocals of the phenomenal Deen Castronovo are monumental, beautifully illustrated by the titanic and touching ‘My Fate’ and the twin guitar attack of Aldrich and David Lowy mighty, but there’s so much more to this band than mere bluster.

This might not just be one of the biggest sounding albums of the year, but also the classiest.

Heavy hitter after heavy hitter keep on coming, the heavy funk of ‘Chosen and Justified’, Hughes vocals and Aldrich’s guitar knocking it right out of the park on ‘Saving Grace’ and the Rush meets The Who intro that brings in the epic melodic rock of ‘Unspoken’ as good as anything that’s been heard for the past few years.

Castronovo gets to display his impressive vocal chops again as he shares duties with Hughes on their hugely enjoyable take on Humble Pie’s ’30 Days in the Hole’, the two voices perfectly complimenting both each other and the material.

There’s a touch of the huge and mystical vein that Zeppelin tapped into on ‘Kashmir’ in ‘Righteous Days’, the vocalist displaying his soulfulness both in the lyrics and another skyscraping performance.

‘Far Away’ closes the album with a sweeping ballad that comes like the calm after the storm, unutterably lush it’s the perfect way to bring this particular new chapter of the band to life.

With more incredible fretwork by Aldrich and a slow build that ends with a race to the finish, this is a breathless finish that leaves jaws dropped and hearts pumping.

Not just the best Dead Daisies album so far but something that will rightly regarded as an outright classic.

Thrilling, life affirming and something that that will go down in rock history as something that stands shoulder to shoulder with the giants of the last fifty years. Truly phenomenal.

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