Outloud - 'Love Catastrophe'

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Outloud - 'Love Catastrophe'

'Love Catastrophe' won't disappoint anyone who loved the debut.

Outloud is the melodic hard rock band formed in Athens back in 2004 by Firewind keyboardist Bob Katsionis and one of his guitar students, Tony Kash. In 2009 their line-up was completed by ex-Firewind drummer Mark Cross, bassist Jason Mercury and American former Talon singer Chandler Mogel, and together they released their debut album to critical acclaim. Since then they've played a few shows in Greece, replaced Mercury with Sverd T. Soth and recorded this classy follow-up for the German label AOR Heaven.

'Love Catastrophe' is a slightly different beast to its predecessor, with more melody and variety but still with a string of the upbeat hard rockers that made their debut so popular. It helps when you have a vocalist as versatile as Mogel, equally adept at gritty hard rocking opener 'We Came To Rock' – a statement of intent if ever there was one – and the acoustic-based ballad 'Someday' with it's soaring melodies. Inbetween those two extremes there are the infectious riffs and great vocal lines of 'Clean Hands', the inventive guitar work, big chorus and thundering bass lines from new boy Soth on the excellent 'Live Again', and the prominent keys on the otherwise rocky 'The Night That Never Ends'. The similarly pacy title track has a great vibe and another insistent chorus, as does the simpler 'Underground', but the best two songs for my money are the more melodic 'Falling Rain' and 'Waiting For Your Love'. The former is a little more laid back with Lizzy-esque guitar harmonies and an AOR chorus, and the latter has an a capella intro and some superb guitar parts.

The only song I'm not completely sold on is 'Isolation Game' due to one of the alternate twin vocals having that annoying auto-tune sound, which is actually a shame as it's a well written melodic rocker, and also, at only ten tracks it's a little bit short by today's standards. With a production by guitarist/keyboard player Katsionis and a stellar mix by the under-used Tommy Hansen, 'Love Catastrophe' won't disappoint anyone who loved the debut. In a melodic rock scene currently enjoying a renaissance, with many great albums coming from bands old and new, Outloud (where did that exclamation mark go!) certainly won't be found lagging behind.

Phil Ashcroft

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