01. Give Me The Reins
02. Now I Know
04. Fade Away
07. Sweet Leaf
09. Last in Line
10. Test My Pride
Here's a interesting gathering of well-known metal artists: vocalist Wade Black (CRIMSON GLORY, LEATHERWOLF, LEASH LAW and WAR OF THRONES),drummer Patrick Johannson (W.A.S.P., CRIMSON GLORY, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN and KAMELOT),bassist Dirk Van Tilborg (ALIAS, ATTAKK, CRIMSON GLORY and KAMELOT) and KINLIN guitarist Dewayne Hart. Together they form CLOCKWORK REVOLUTION, a power metal-hard rock hybrid that doesn't sound anything like the members' past affiliates. Instead, they mingle old and new methods of heavy styles in a generally pleasing if less-than-urgent fashion.
The quickstepping "Give Me The Reins" has everything from DOKKEN to KING'S X to SEETHER writhing through its pounding groove and bonking bass lines. Wade Black eases through the whumping tempo and Dewayne Hart drops a gristly guitar solo through the song's otherwise clean drive. Somewhere between ALICE IN CHAINS, PEARL JAM and AEROSMITH does "Now I Know" drop. The respective comparable attributes manifesting in isolated successions of syrupy grunge and gleaming blues. It takes a few bars for the song to catch though. It's perhaps too clever for its own good. "Heritage" thereafter lurks in a tempered form of grunge with a tiny drop of latter era MÖTLEY CRÜE barely charging its mopey choruses. Wade Black has noticeable trip shifting pitches, but "Heritage", like "Now I Know", putters instead of ignites, despite a few rumbling bass kicks from Patrick Johannson. At least Dewayne Hart scatters some fret candy with an appetizing solo.
The momentum from "Give Me The Reins" doesn't return until the bulldozing fifth song, "Monsanto", giving this album a much-needed spark. It's grumbly, fast and stuffed with low-end chords and equally low-slung yowls from Wade Black. From there, "Carnivore" dips back to mid-tempo though it's stuffed with a clobbering rhythm and plump riffs. Wade Black is not at his best here, warbling more off-kilter than on earlier tracks, which unfortunately cuts "Carnivore" off at the knees. The freewheeling blues huff of "Sweet Leaf" is derived right out TESLA's high mark and the BULLETBOYS's brief popularity, while "Endless" was already done by hordes of mid-to-late eighties power rockers—and to better effect.
If anything, this debut album by CLOCKWORK REVOLUTION feels like an experiment shared by veteran performers to see how many eras of heavy music the band can hit upon for its own gratification. Not that there's anything wrong with it, but this album loses steam in a hurry and meanders too much in its own sluggish curiosity.