|CD REVIEW TSM/ SLW Promotion special, August 2012, part 1 : Dennis Develin – Silence – Joey Summer|
Wow...it's been a while since we were able to bring you one of these specials. Part of that for sure had to do with our editor-in-chief going through some rough times both at his daytime job, ànd at the label he works at on the side. Combine that with some troublesome times on a personal level, and you'll understand why things at Concrete Web have been pretty slow altogether. However, now that part of the problems at least have been solved, the Chief has kicked into gear again, and he told me just yesterday that he's got some 50 new TSM/ SLW Promotion items waiting for me. Frankly...I hope that's just his usual exaggeration speaking.
Meanwhile, this first special groups a couple of releases by Perris Records, issued earlier in the year (February, to be exact), and I'm hoping to finish another special (nót Perris) in time to be posted with this one.
Born (°March 1973) and raised in Copenhagen, Danish Hard 'n' Heavy Rocker Dennis Develin got acquainted with the music of Motley Crüe during the eighties, realized that the “Sixx” life-style was his way to go, and soon enough got himself his first bass.
During the '90s, he first played with Starry Eyes, then in 1996 joined cult act Sticky Sweet. Ending up fronting that band, which released its debut album Can't Stay Innocent in 1998 (also had a promo release in their formation year). For reasons unknown by me, the band then changed its name to Pure Innocence, which released its eponymous album in 1999. With that band running towards its end, Develin released his debut “solo” album Vengeance Is Mine through Perris Records in 2002 [self-produced & self-recorded, but mixed & mastered by Tommy Hansen, (known from past collaborations with the likes of Helloween, Pretty Maids and TNT to name but a few) at his Jailhouse Studio – in fact, all recordings related to Develinfrom that point on wuld be mixed & mastered by Hansen]. The mid-part of the first decade of the new millennium sees him being part of Macho Metal act Club Hell, which not only released a self-titled 7-song EP (recorded in co-production by Develin and guitarist Jonas Roxx, the two forming all alliance from then on) in 2006, but went on to issue the DVD Live At The Rock a year later. Somewhere around that time Develin joined HardRock/ Glam act Nation XXX, and contributed to their single 2 Songs, released in 2007, all the while also working on the material for his second solo album Love Is For The Other Guys, which he self-released in 2008.Although the album did not get an “official” release, it apparently garnered enough interest for for the Soundbox label to release the “compilation” (besides 5 songs off his debut solo and 7 off the 2008 release, the album also comprises 7 songs of which I was unable to find the origins) Ten Years in 2009. 2 ½ years on in time, and there's the man's third solo album, back on Perris (apparently thanks to the song “Ladies Of The Eighties” - which is off his 2002 album! - having been the most downloaded track on Perris' compilation album Hollywood Hairspray 7).
For his live appearances, Develin can apparently not only count on Jonas Roxx to wield the axe, but also to bring some backing vocals. On the keyboards/ organ, we find Tommy Hansen (surprise, surprise, or...how everything sometimes ties together in Heavy Rock/ Glam communities, eh?), and for drummer the band can count on either Chainz Cooper or Mr. Joshua, depending on availability (the latter, a former Consumed and Club Hell member, also plays with Artillery)...but for the album the core trio made use of one C. S. Hermansson (wouldn't it be funny if that happened to be the real name of either one of the live drummers?).
Personally, I'm not too fond of Mr. Develin's raw voice. Also, I feel the guitar melodies miss an instant catch-on quality. Of course, I'm not dictating what you, dear reader, should or should not be listening to. In fact, if Glam Rock with a heavy touch is your thing, than by all means check the “Full Discography” section on the band's own website (www.) develin.dk, where you can listen to full-length versions of two songs on the new album, and the complete track-lists of both of Develin's previous solo albums, as well as the Club Hell mini-album. For 3 more tracks off the new album, surf to the band's MySpace page (link on their own site).
Not to be confused with a host of bands by the same name (at least 5 from the USA, and at least one from Spain, Poland, Italy, Germany, the Czech Republic, Canada and Argentina each), the history of Silence began in 1996, when Nantes (France) based guitarist/ keyboardist Bruno Levesque, having been disappointed with working in several bands and having to compromise all the time, started his one-man project and recorded his instrumental album The Fifth Season (which was released in 1997 on cd-R format only).
Second instrumental album Trouble In Paradise, released in 2000 by French label Brennus Music, garnered enough positive reactions for Bruno to continue his project, this time with a singer to boot! So he forged a collaboration with singer Jerome Cazard in early 2001, which would spout the albums Utopia (released in 2002 by MTM Music, and actually reviewed by yours truly back then) and Nostalgia (2005; Vinnie Records). Then Cazard apparently fell out of the picture and Bruno, having enough material, self-released the 2007 solo album The Last Words on cd-R.
Then along...came a spider...? Nah, get serious! 2008 saw the start of a collaboration with Ben Venet of Belgian band The Jayhawkers (hum...I even have albums by those guys, I guess...checking...nope: album by The Jayhawks, but not by The Jayhawkers!), and the release of their album Open Road through Kivel Records that same year! Then...silence! Well, Levesque actually guested on an album by AOR in 2009, but otherwize, business about Silence were pretty silent (sorry, just couldn't resist making that one-line joke). Well, turns out Bruno has been far from inactive, as Silence (again with Ben Venet as singer and 2nd guitarist) now releases two albums simultaneously. It is, in fact, the first time Perris Records ever did such a double release!
Expect top-grade Melodic Hard Rock with the best kind of lead vocals (clean with a nice touch of harshness), and the occasional calmer ballad. There's a couple of guest appearance worthy of being mentioned. Justine Venet brings a very nice vocal duet in the City (Days) song “Lift Me Up” (parts done in French too!). That album also has a cover in the track “Guardian Angel” (don't ask me what band brought the song first, all I know is it was co-written by Spiro and Thompson – anyone know more?) On City (Nights) we find Tommy Denander (guitar solo in “Drifting Away”), Denis Paufique (guitar solo in “Someday”) and Eric Dupré (2nd guitar solo in “Goodbye To The Good Old Days”) in guest roles, and “Just One Kiss On Your Heart” is a Frédéric Slama (AOR) original (it may have been written specially for Silence, though).
Where to find music by Silence on the Internet for preview? Well, that's a tough one, especially if you wanna listen to the new material! I guess of the new album you can only listen to the 30-second samples usually provided by your trusted online sales sites. On the project's own site (www.) silenceprod.free.fr, you will only find samples of some tracks off each óther album prior to City, and at (www) myspace.com/silenceaor, you can only find full-length versions of 3 older songs (one being a cover of John Waite's “Missing You”). If you've never heard Silencebefore, that may give you a good picture of what this band is about though. And, if you've come across earlier material by this band and liked it, you can sure buy the album...sorry, albums!... blindly.
Born in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro in 1971, Joey Summer actually is from greek descend. Encouraged by his mother, and Opera singer, he was encouraged to learn how to use his voice from an early age. He got in touch with Rock music in his early teens, and after playing/ writing songs in different bands, he formed his first own band (with his brother Geremias) at the age of 14. During his teen years, he also dedicated part of himself to being an actor, an occupation which he continues to date.
A first sign of success in music came with the Rock group Karma (released two albums in the early '90s) in which Joey for the first time both played the guitar and did backing vocals (leads were done by someone else). Melodic Hard Rock/ AOR act Arena came next, and remained active for two years, with 1997's O Tempo Vai Mostrar as only result, album-wize...for that band was the beginning of a continued collaboration between Joey and keyboardist Daniel Lamas. Fact is, Joey himself “disappeared” from the recording front for quite a while, but when he returned in 2009 for his solo album Nascer, Daniel would be an important part of both the writing of the material, and execution of the music (a cover of former Europe member Kee Marcello's song “Rough Ride To Paradise” was also included in the track-list). Daniel (as well as bassist Markcell) was also present for the ensuing Written On The Horizon, released in 2010 and recorded with contributions from Michael Muller (Jaded Heart), Fredrik Bergh (Street Talk, Bloodbound) and Goran Edman (Street Talk, Glory, Yngwie Malmsteen). The album again had covers: besides one originally by Kee Marchello, there were also songs by Jaded Heart and Street Heart.
In 2011, while working on the material for his new album, Joey was invited to perform as singer on the song “Under Your Spell”, released on the AOR album The Color Of LA in early 2012. AOR mainman Frédéric Slama then invited Joey to come play guitar, keyboards and do some backing vocals on the album Outside Heaven, debut for the band Chasing Violets which Slama was producing for Perris Records (should've been released by now). As a return favour (?) Slama now plays rhythm guitar on One Bite From Paradise's closing track “No One's Gonna Hurt Me Anymore”. Other guests include Tommy Denander (revered AOR & Melodic Rock producer, but also musician: Radioactive...drums, bass, keyboards and guitar on that same album closing song) and also again Fredrik Bergh (piano on “Heaven To Earth”). Noteworthy is the fact that Joey himself this time also contributed to the keyboards played on the album, alongside Daniel Lamas. Like before, both also handled part of the bass duties.
Music off the album on Internet? There's the trusted online sales sites, which provide you with the usual 30-second samples. Joey càn be found on facebook, but that page has neither music nor videos. Then there's (www.) myspace.com/joeysummer, where you will some samples of 2 songs off Written On The Horizon, and full-length versions of 2 others (including the Kee Marchello cover). I'm not sure how that material compares to what's on OBFP, as I didn't have time to check that out. In a blog however, Joey states that “the new material is getting an incredible heavier sonority and more melodic that the album WOTH in a different point of view,” continuing to say that the new album's music is closer to Melodic Metal, but not losing touch with the roots (Genesis, Yes, etc...). I can tell you this though: Joey is a talented guitarist, whom dedicates quite some attention to lead guitar play. He is also a great singer, with a clean and high pitch, but which never becomes heady in any way. Some of the songs are huge in sound, combining guitars and string keyboards to an incredible pompousity. Other songs are far calmer, ballads actually, with the guitar play done in appropriate sensitivity...and the combination makes for a nicely balanced and varied album, the kind of thing any fan of AOR or '80s Melodic Rock will fall for in a big way!