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All Points West
BAND:
ALBUM:
LABEL:
YEAR:
GENRE:
REVIEWER:
WEBSITE:
MYSPACE:
Ray West
All Points West
Indie
2009
Modern Rock/Metal
Dave Felix
N/A
www.myspace.com/spreadeagleraywest
Rating:
4.0 stars

Back in 2006 after an over ten year "disappearing act," Rockeyez was able to track down and contact one of the most distinctive voices in the metal industryÖ former SPREAD EAGLE front man Ray West. Since then, we have been keeping a close eye on Mr. WestÖ after all, we didnít want to lose him again! But here we are, over three years later and after following his many appearances with HOSTEL INC. and the Ray West Band, we are very, very excited to announce the release of his first full length CD in over 16 years AND his very first solo release entitled "All Points West" or "APW" for short.

The CD opens in classic style with a track which shouldnít be too unfamiliar to our Rockeyez readersÖ a track entitled "Novacaine." Youíve heard us mention this song time and time again in our HOSTEL INC. live reviews but hearing it finally recorded in a studio environment is a whole different animal. This is just an incredible, incredible track and without a doubt, one of the best songs Ray has ever recorded. The thundering bass line and hard-edged rhythm leading into a sharp, melodic chorus makes this arrangement as full and fat as you can get and Rayís voice simply peaks from his soulful harmonies to his aggressive screams making this track alone more than worth the price of a CD three times over! As far as "Novacaine" goes, three wordsÖ instant metal classic!

Following up "Novacaine" are two more aggressive rockers in "Donít Think" and "Got My Gun." With itís pulsing tempo and heavy, gripping guitar licks, "Donít Think" is the perfect track for all you "head-bangers" out there while with itís more modern flair, "Got My Gun" will definitely keep that shot of adrenaline shooting through your veins! Thatís the thing I really like about this CD as a whole. Not only does it contain all the elements of classic metal but it really bridges the gap by adding a modern hook ala bands like TOOL or RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE.

Trying to give "Novacaine" some competition for the top song on this release, the haunting "Hypothermia" comes up next. This is another gem of a track and while it is a bit slower than any of the other tracks on the CD, the eerie melody along with some brilliant, modern guitar work is enough for any true metal fan to appreciate. Being the most commercial sounding track, "Hypothermia" could easily become a radio success on any hard-rock/ heavy metal station in the world.

Clawing its way into your spine, the aggressive "Monster" will rip itself right through your speakers. "Crash" also continues in this vein but then we come to "Stolen." This is another perfectly executed track in both its style and arrangement. Still maintaining that harder edge, this is another potentially "radio-friendly" hit with a smooth, persistent chorus combined with moody layers and overtones. This one has really grown on me.

"Voices" is another heavy, aggressive track but for me it just seems to be a tad weaker than any of the other songs on the album. Donít get me wrong, itís still a good song but for me, it just feels like thereís something missing.

"Free" on the other hand is just great! I really like the almost "Spanish-sounding" acoustic guitar work through out the song and being on that slower, moodier side, it again allows Rayís voice to really shine. Then like the rumbling of an earthquake, "No State of Grace" roars its way back into your soul with unrelenting tenacity.

"All Points West" is just a great, great release all around. The production value is literally second to none. Studio guitarist/ bassist Miguel Gonzalez doubles as producer and really has a way of bringing out the best in Ray as his vocals sound crisper and clearer than anything heís ever recorded before. Awesome job all around and while the CD has not officially been released yet, make sure you check back with us for updates on when it will be "Open To The Public!"


Band Lineup:
  • Ray West Ė Lead Vocals

  • STUDIO MUSICIANS
  • Miguel Gonzalez Ė Guitars & Bass
  • Damien Acosta Ė Drums

 

Track Listing:
  1. Novacaine
  2. Donít Think
  3. Got My Gun
  4. Hypothermia
  5. Monster
  6. Crash
  7. Stolen
  8. Voices
  9. Free
  10. No State Of Grace

 

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