The supergroup. Whatever your views on them, there’s enough of them about, making brilliant music. There’s been Black Country Communion years ago, making the best rock n roll around, there’s Dead Daisies these days – and if the common link on those is Glenn Hughes, then there’s a link to Revolution Saints too.
Back in 2015 the Saints came marching in (sorry, I’d sack myself, but it’s my website) with their debut. It was a melodic rock masterclass, but moreover it was the most Frontiers Records record in the history of the world. The Italian label loves putting groups together like some alchemist, and after three albums with that lineup (including current Daisies man Doug Aldrich) comes MK II.
And “Eagle Flight” is comfortably the best of their career.
Joining Deen Castronovo here are Jeff Pilson (Dokken) and Joel Hoekstra (Whitesnake) and they sound invigorated in a way that the band haven’t before in truth. Alessandro Del Vecchio (who acts as producer here) tinkles the piano to get the opening some gravitas, but elsewhere, let’s be honest about this, it’s so 80s that it’s got a Frankie Says Relax shirt on with its shoulder pads. As a singer, though Castronovo is sensational. This is his record and Hoekstra’s solo on the title track is a statement of intent. One that says they mean business.
One of those records that almost doesn’t need reviewing because everyone reading it already knows what it’s like. But “Talking Like Strangers” starts like Def Leppard before turning into Journey, while Del Vecchio, who always seems to turn up on these things and is in the brilliant Hardline, is back for the note perfect “Need Each Other” – it could have been on the 2nd Bon Jovi record no problem.
And if there’s not a lot of danger here, then “Kids Will Be Kids” adds a groove, and if you like your ballads big and with a side order of power, then the string laden “I’ll Cry For You Tonight” is yours for the ages, the much better “Crime Of The Century” (I apologise for my lack of romance, but we are where we are) is a proper rock song and a proper highlight.
Although most of the time you know what’s coming here, and it always delivers, the reason it’s being reviewed is because it’s brilliantly done. “Set Yourself Free” has the biggest chorus on the planet, and the trio are in perfect harmony (literally) and work like ‘Sacred” fills arenas if it’s 1986 and that’s before the aptly named “Once More” reprises the piano infused ballad thing one last time.
For my money (and this is down to personal taste) they are better on stuff like the album closer “Set Me Free”, when the shackles come off and you can more or less hear them enjoying making the music. This music. Their music.
These men were never going to experiment here and not that anyone should. Instead, they went and made the most Revolution Saints record they could. Never mind revolution, you can’t really call this evolution. What you can say is this is three giants of AOR sounding enormous. That’s all “Eagle Flight” was designed to be, too.