Before taking up reviewing I never really knew just how many albums were released in any given time. Only the ones from the big bands ever really made it to the headlines of Facebook and other social media that a lot of little gems were often overlooked. But one thing I have noticed through my reviewing work though is the amount of new releases that have been put out by bands of the bygone eras of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Not only are these bands recording new material, which is ALWAYS a good thing, to keep their older fans interested, but they are also gaining a legion of new fans who may never have heard of them before. I can include myself among the latter.
Of course, I had heard of Slaughter, but, being in my early teens and just getting into metal music when they were at their height of popularity, they were a band that didn’t fall onto my radar, the only song that really stuck in my head being “Up All Night.”
But let’s return to Mark!
Born on 4th July, 1964 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Mark is a legendary hard rock singer, having fronted the band Xcursion before joining the Vinnie Vincent Invasion, and then forming Slaughter (who still use his name) with Dana Strum in the late 1980’s. The band had a lot of success, selling more than 5 million records during the 1990’s, four top 30 hits on the US Billboard and tours with bands such as Kiss, Poison, Ozzy Osborne and the Damn Yankees.
Mark released his first solo album “Reflections in a Rear View Mirror” on May 22, 2015 and “Halfway There”, his sophomore release, is a “stunning return to form, channelling the rock sensibility of classic Slaughter tracks.” Not only does this new album showcase his seemingly endless vocal abilities, but it is also a glowing testament to his abilities as both a songwriter and a multi-instrumentalist, handling all the production, engineering, songwriting, arrangements, guitar work and the bulk of the album’s instrumentation himself. Obviously, a very talented man!
The first thing that stands out about this album is not the music or the lyrics but the front cover artwork, which has been prepared by legendary horror/comic/music artist “Miser” Sam Shearon, who is known for his work with bands such as Kiss, Iron Maiden, Rob Zombie and many others.
So what of the music? Well, this album has a little bit of everything.
Opening with the fist in the air ‘Hey You’ the heavy driving riffs are evident from the offset. ‘Devoted’ is a heavier, slightly darker song that has a very balls to the wall approach, while ‘Conspiracy’ is heavier edged with a sing along chorus and ‘Supernatural’ is the token melodic catchy rock song. There are a few ballads thrown into the mix too with the emotive ‘Halfway There’ hovering somewhere between a stadium anthem and a classic rock ballad.
Described by EMP A&R director Thom Hazaert, himself, as a “a return to form of the classic Slaughter sound, but with some modern upgrades. From the first time I heard the working demos of these songs, I knew Mark was working on something very, very special. Growing up (and still) a huge Slaughter fan, I think these songs are going to not only resonate with the people who already love Mark and what he does, but carve a niche far beyond,” this is a rock album in every sense of the word, a true rock and roll album that I, too, am sure will gain Mark a whole new fan base.
Seemingly able to combine the sounds of the 1980’s glam metal with Alice Cooper’s “Brutal Planet” type riffs and hints of the 1990’s grunge era, along with some AOR thrown in for good measure this is an album that should appeal to a wide range of fans. Mark has a new fan in me and I am sure that, once you go out and buy this album, whether you are a Slaughter fan or not, you will be a Mark Slaughter fan too!
01. Hey You
04. Halfway There
09. Turn It
10. Not Here
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King, Ever Metal and The Metal Asylum. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.
First published on Metal Gods TV – http://metalgodstv.com/mark-slaughter-album-review-halfway-there/ – reproduced here with kind permission from Metal Gods TV
Posted on Ever Metal.