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(Metal Heaven)
Release Date: 28th May 2012

Phil Kane

phil kane

driver countdown

Centred around vocalist Rob Rock, Driver boasts some serious top gun Metal personnel: Guitarist/producer Roy Z and drummer Reynold 'Butch' Carlson with Ed Roth on keyboards and Aaron Samson on bass who between them have worked with such folk as Bruce Dickinson, Rob Halford, George Lynch, John 5, Axel Rudi Pell, Glenn Hughes and the late great Ronnie Montrose as well as bands like Impellitteri, Warrior and Avantasia.

The roots of this album can be traced way back to the eighties when this band released 'Project: Driver' under the MARS banner. That did absolutely diddly-squat so the band broke up and went on to greater things elsewhere. Having made a tentative return with 2008s 'Sons Of Thunder', they have reconvened again to give us 'Countdown', a luscious slice of eighties American Metal with a bang up twenty first century production job.

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Just like the previous album, 'Countdown', is a mixture of newly written material and old demos that have been retrieved from the vaults, dusted down and given a run out. Amongst these are 'Destiny', 'Thief In The Night' and solitary slowie 'Always On My Mind' that, it must be said, is not half bad for a lighter waver.

Whether any other tracks on here are resurrected demos is not certain. Of the new stuff 'Running From The Darkness', 'Return To The Sky', the bonus track 'Babylon' and 'Cry Of The Wounded' are all prime examples of the sort of west coast melodic Metal only the Americans seem to be able to do with any degree of success.

Very good is not good enough these days; to be in with a chance to be heard above the general clamour bands need to be striving for excellence and Driver just to say fall short of the mark. Certainly for rock fans recent times have never been so fruitful and so therein lays Driver's big problem.

On saying that, 'Countdown' is a cracking slice of modern melodic Metal with a definite 80s slant that would ably grace any AOR/melodic rock fiend's archive but we'll just have to see if it can compete with the rest of the herd.



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