Brazilian acts in the melodic rock genre have been frequent visitors at the GLORY-DAZE arrival gate. We've seen a handful sprinkled across our pages.. Snow, Highest Dream, Auras to name a few. Add to that, new contender Joey Summer. Like many of us, and like many that have gone before, Joey, who has Greek descent but raised in Brazil, was bought up on a diet of 80's based rock, so much so that he eventually moved to become a professional musician, with appearances in Brazilian bands such as Karma and Arena. In 2009, Joey's first solo album 'Nascer' was released, which also included the track 'Rough Ride To Paradise' written by former Easy Action and Europe guitar ace Kee Marcello. 2010 sees the release of his first international release and second solo album sung in English.. 'Written On The Horizon'. Joey brings his Arena bandmate Daniel Lamas with him, plus there is the inclusion of Street Talk duo Fredrik Bergh and Goran Edman, who provide two songs and participate on one of them, plus Jaded Heart's Michael Mueller, who plays bass on a track written by Michael Bormann. Listening to the album, there's a lot of Jeff Scott Soto about Joey's approach to melodic rock. Musically and instrumentally this is pretty good, however the vocals fluctuate between between adequate and ordinary for the most part. Certainly Joey is no JSS, but then again - who is?
'Rise Up' is the first track to lead us off, huge choir like voices provided by synth make way for what is a urgent sounding guitar rocker. The Jaded Heart connection is apparent on 'Anymore'. Michael Bormann wrote it, while Michael Mueller plays bass on it. Epic in nature, orchestral leanings, culminating in a powerful delivery. The big synth intro preceding the title track 'Written On The Horizon' is a tell-tale sign that a 'big' track is on its way, and it surely is when it lands. It has a domineering presence, with massive guitars and even bigger harmony vocals. It's a powerful track, one of the best of the CD. 'Don't Believe' is a Street Talk penned number, and it sounds typical of the work created by Bergh and Edman, especially those beautiful keyboards and harmony vocals. The ballad 'It's Only Love' has some hauntingly lush passages and borders on West Coast, 'Lorea' similarly shares some extreme melodic moments, and has a European feel to it. Another ballad in close proximity is 'I'll Never Be Alone Again', though with power ballad tendencies with a powered up presence on the choruses. 'Tables Turning' will be familiar to Street Talk fans, Joey puts his own personal touch on it, but I much prefer the original. 'Beating' demonstrates that Joey can indeed write good songs, this one in tandem with Lamas is very strong, and I much prefer it when Joey rocks out, rather than wimp out with ballads. The same can be said for 'Brand New Day', which is another great tune that delivers a combination of power and precision. The Jeff Scott Soto similarities are evident here. The aforementioned 'Rough Ride To Paradise' rears its head as the album closer, a mid-tempo track which shapeshifts with undulating effect, only truly taking off after a minute and a half of piano accompaniment.
So there we have it. A strong selection of songs, which probably could've done without the Street Talk songs, because as good as those two are, the album should've seen more rockers as that is where Joey's strengths are. Ballads and softer songs tends to show up his vocal shortcomings, and it's unfair to be compared to both Jeff Scott Soto and Goran Edman, who are both world class vocalists. On the whole 'I enjoyed 'Written On The Horizon' a great deal, and I'm sure I won't be the first nor the last person to mention the issue to do with the vocals on this CD.
Joey Summer: vocals, guitar
Daniel Lamas: keyboards, backing vocals
Renan Martins: drums
Goran Edman: backing vocals on “Don't Believe”
Fredrik Bergh (Street Talk): keyboards on “Don't Believe”
Julio Cezar (Cathedral): bass on “Don't Believe”
Michael Muller (Jaded Heart): bass on “Anymore”
1. Rise Up (Joey Summer/Daniel Lamas)
2. Anymore (Michael Bormann)
3. Written On The Horizon (Joey Summer)
4. Don't Believe (Fredrik Bergh/Goran Edman)
5. It's Only Your Love (Joey Summer)
6. Lorea (Joey Summer)
7. I'll Never Be Alone Again (Joey Summer)
8. Tables Turning (Fredrik Bergh/Goran Edman)
9. Beating (Joey Summer/Daniel Lamas)
10. Brand New Day (Joey Summer/Daniel Lamas)
11. Rough Ride To Paradise (Kee Marcello)
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