Chalice - 2005 Shotgun Alley

ARTIST: Chalice
ALBUM: Shotgun Alley
LABEL: Massacre Records
YEAR: 2005

LINEUP: Gino Naschke - vocals * Oliver Scheer - guitars * Steve Lagleder - bass, vocals * Michael Mehl - drums, vocals * Burkhard Becker - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Prologue * 02 Opera Burns * 03 Shotgun Alley * 04 Hollywood Daze * 05 Twisted Lover * 06 Shadow Of My Soul * 07 Price Of Love * 08 Kick It * 09 Time * 10 Sweet Taste Of Life * 11 King Of The Neighbourhood * 12 Beyond The Light * 13 Make A Cross



How many times have we heard about bands who get dicked around by their labels and promoters, getting so frustrated that they decide to chuck it all in. The same cannot be said for Chalice, who took their frustrations and anger over the poor promotion of their previous album into the recording of 'Shotgun Alley', their fifth and latest album.

The calmer version of the band produced 4 album's in a progressive aor/melodic rock mould. With the added angst the band are now steadfastly a hard rock act similar to Switzerland's Shakra and the UK's Kick, but with a good dose of US 90's hard rock attitude as well.

The Songs

Even with a harder direction the band don't totally convince, though there are a few very good tracks. The album begins in a slow fashion with 'The Opera Burns' and 'Shotgun Alley'. Solid but ultimately forgettable tracks.

The bands feelings come through more on the balls-out rockers 'Hollywood Daze' and 'Twisted Lover'. This is what I would expect from a pissed-off band. 'Shadow Of My Soul' is a rudimentary groove rocker, and 'Price Of Love' has a decent melodic rock style uplifting chorus, but the verse's sound very much like American rockers Live. An interesting combination that has me sitting on the fence.

Once we are into the latter part of the album the band start cranking it up and my listening became more attentive. Tracks such as 'Kick It', 'Time' and 'King Of The Neighbourhood' begin to make up for some of the earlier lackluster material. I'm not a fan of finishing albums with ballads but that shouldn't detract from 'Make A Cross', a fine acoustic piece.

In Summary

PC69's Dennis Ward (a busy man) handled production so naturally the album sounds great. If the band can keep writing material like 'Twisted Lover' and 'Kick It', while ditching the duller stuff, then the Chalice may just runneth over. Right now, it is only about 3/4 full.

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