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Oz Knozz - 'True Believer' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/29/b2/2c/2155_ozknozztruebeliever_1335887810.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     May 01, 2012    
 
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A fine tribute to 70's and 80's keyboard-driven pomp and arena rock with some slightly proggy moments.

It's actually been four years since the last Oz Knozz album ‘10,000 Days & Nights,’ which isn’t bad considering that the gap between that and the previous album was thirty-three years! Oz Knozz are a new name on me, but my Fireworks colleague Paul Jerome Smith enthused about the ‘10,000 Days…’ album back in Fireworks #35, describing it as ‘a fine tribute to 70’s and 80’s keyboard-driven pomp and arena rock with some slightly proggy moments here and there.’ And I’m pleased to report that not much has changed with new release ‘True Believer.’ 

The promotional information that accompanies the CD describes the album as more progressive than before, but in my opinion it’s only the grandiose closing track ‘Kings And Treasures’ that is the only true Prog piece contained within. I wouldn’t say that the majority of this album was anything more than the 70’s Pomp as previously described, but with a healthy dose of good ol’ Rock’n’Roll at its heart! ‘Goodbye Again’, ‘Far Away’ and ‘True Believer’ all have a sound highly reminiscent of prime-time Styx, but with enough of it’s own character to avoid full-on plagiarism.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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In amongst all the pomp and circumstance there are some wonderful moments that lean towards a more commercial U.S. 70’s Rock sound. The sublime opener ‘Empty Room’ is a moody, melodic gem that is straight out of the Foreigner book of hits, the semi-ballad ‘Always There’ hints at a little of Journey’s ‘Who’s Crying Now’, and ‘Here Comes The Night’ reminds me of early Reo Speedwagon, and even has some Whitesnake in the guitar parts (see if you can spot it!). ‘What The…?’ is a frustrated Blues number replete with an almighty extended guitar solo from the talented Robert Guinea, and has it’s tongue planted firmly in its cheek. Best of all for me though is the six and a half minute ‘Fox Paws’, which bursts forth with a chugging riff, and has a quite wonderful four and a half minute instrumental section, with trumpet, keyboards and guitars all getting their chance in the spotlight.

I have to admit I really enjoyed this album, a lot more than I thought I would, and that’s testament to the delivery, and the honesty of the songs. Milton De Coronado has an immensely powerful voice, the rhythm section of bassist Bill Massey and drummer Marty Naul is as tight as they come, and the keyboards of songwriter Duane Massey are incorporated into the music without swamping it. And as good as the musicians are, they’re nothing without the songs, and here you have the perfect combination, and that’s good enough for me.

Ant Heeks

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