Just because you combine quality ingredients doesn’t guarantee a good meal! In the case of Iconic’s debut album, SECOND SKIN, not only are the ingredients of serious quality, but the finished product is exactly what you hoped for! The album isn’t Inglorious, Stryper, Black Star Riders, Black Oak Arkansas, or Whitesnake, it is an amalgam of the bands that influenced them, at least that is what I hear.
For many American listeners, this may be their introduction to vocalist Nathan James who is a throwback to the greats like Paul Rodgers, Glenn Hughes, and David Coverdale. Trading vocals with Michael Sweet creates a bigger and more electric sound especially on the title track. Creating more fury and excitement is the play between Sweet and Joel Holkstra, who challenge the music without compromising the song, something a band like this can do, unintentionally. Holding it all down is the collected talents of bassist Marco Mendoza and drummer Tommy Aldridge who know a thing or two about working with brilliant musicians. Helping it sound as clean and crisp as possible is the amazing Alessandro Del Vecchio who helps Sweet with production and provides keyboards and an extra voice.
SECOND SKIN is an album of many moods and textures, from full on rockers like It Ain’t Over and Nowhere To Run (a song Stryper fans will love) to passionate slower songs like All I Need (my favorite on the album) and World’s Apart (my second favorite on the album). I mentioned it above, but the worth of this album, what makes it so strong and brilliant, is the songs are so good. With each individual member setting the bar pretty high, you will happy to know that collectively, this a unified alb0um, a fantastic listen that should be in everyone’s Top Ten.
My first hope is you will listen to this album, love everything about it, and feel good, knowing that awesome music is still being made! My second hope is you then go and buy the entire Inglorious catalog.
MATMAN RATING - 5 out of 5 eye patches
ICONIC - SECOND SKIN (Frontiers Music s.r.l.) will be released on June 11, 2022
For a live review listen to the next episode of 53:5 – The Official Stryper Podcast and also the Power Chords Podcast, wherever you get your podcasts from!
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The Power Chords Podcast is a twice-monthly podcast celebrating rock and metal music of the '70s, '80s, '90s and beyond. The show is co-hosted by Matt Herring and Brian LeTendre.