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Alcatrazz – ‘V’

Silver Lining Music
Michael Schenker's Temple of Rock, Yngwie Malmsteen, Rainbow, Steeler, Impellitteri
Release Date
October 15, 2021
Silver Lining Music
Heavy Metal

Alcatrazz is a famous old name, most known for featuring alumni virtuoso guitarists Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai. Graham Bonnet reformed the band in 2019 and they delivered a superb album in 2020 with ‘Born Innocent’, but it came as a shock later that year when Bonnet left with Doogie White replacing him and after much deliberating over line-ups and name ownership, this version of Alcatrazz has struck first releasing their latest album, ‘V’.

                Doogie White has made a career from being a ‘go to’ vocalist when things go tits up in your band; the man has a powerful, versatile and dependable voice that unsurprisingly stands tall during ‘V’. This is coupled with some virtuoso musicianship from the Alcatrazz band who appear to have been let off the leash for this album and allowed to fully explore their masterclass side. This does mean that with White’s vocals at the helm, there is a huge parallel to his work with Michael Schenker’s Temple of Rock and that is no bad thing as tracks such as ‘Nightwatch’, ‘Sword of Deliverance’ and ‘Alice’s Eyes’ stand as tall as anything Alcatrazz have ever done before. However, ‘V’ is a long album, clocking in at over an hour with just 12 songs it can give the feeling that ‘some’ fat could have been trimmed. Furthermore, other than the closing ballad ‘Dark Day for My Soul’, ‘V’ is quite one paced, yet this is sidestepped by the band’s use for dynamics and phrasing, particularly from White who once again shows that he is a master of delivery at the microphone stand.

                The story of Alcatrazz may currently be mired in ‘he said, she said, blah blah blah’, but ‘V’ is actually a really good album which grows in endearment with each listen and it wouldn’t be surprising if ‘V’ managed to creep into a more than a few top tens of the year.

a really good album which grows in endearment with each listen

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