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CHRIS CATENA Freak Out Iuma IMRC 007 (2004)

Italian vocalist Chris Catena has assembled a veritable ‘Who’s Who’ of hard rock musicians on here. Catena is heavily influenced by Deep Purple, Trapeze and early Whitesnake, with ex-Purple and Whitesnake members Glenn Hughes, Bernie Marsden, Tommy Aldridge and Micky Moody all appearing. Add to this the talents of Jeff Scott Soto, Tony Franklin, ex-Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick, ex-Uriah Heep singer John Lawton and Y&T’s Dave Meniketti to name but a few. But despite all these star names is the music any good? Yes indeed! Prime time 70’s hard rock with a big funk vibe running through it coupled with modern production.

‘Crazy Man’ is the fine example - mixing guitar solos, swirling keyboard solos and big funk groove - nice. Glenn Hughes pops up on ‘Freak Out Tonight’, a groove-laden rocker (just how many albums doe this man guest on?). Lend your ears to ‘Lady Starlight’ and you’d swear it was Moody/Marsden era ‘Snake and also ‘Sweet Talker’, which of course is an old ‘Snake Chestnut, with Micky Moody adding his distinctive slide guitar.

An interesting album and one to be enjoyed by all lovers of hard rock. Deserves a big audience - just hope it doesn’t get buried amongst all the other albums out there.

Label website


Review by Jason Ritchie

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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