Army Of Three – Album Review.
Army of Three is the third album for the band after “Radium” which was released back in 2011 and shortly followed by “Live from Marshall”- a fab live album recorded at none other than the world renowned Marshall Amplification in 2012.
So I was contacted by Jay to listen to and review Virgil and the Accelerators, a wonderfully soulful three piece Blues rock band, with Virgil McMahon, Gabriel McMahon and Jack Timmis.
Virgil is a fantastically talented rock guitarist, and vocalist. Inspired by his father and jamming with Otis Grand at the tender age of 12…! For a young man his sound is beautifully, soulful and could happily sit among some of the greats! His guitar solos are phenomenal, and leave you with no doubt that this guy can play!
Army of Three was always going to be good, but when I saw it has been produced by the legend that is Chris Tsangarides, who has worked with the likes of Thin Lizzy, Judas Priest and Gary Moore…! Well I knew I was in for a treat, and damn! it certainly doesn’t disappoint!
This ten track album, opens with “Take me Higher” which is a feast for the ears, starting with a melodic flow of sounds, gentle, beautiful, it slowly builds like a steam train powering into a bluesy rock monster, with a great guitar riff and an atmospheric edge.
“Army of Three”, takes the band towards the rock and a little away from the Blues that they showed us on “Radium”, but don’t worry the blues are still there. Virgil’s surprisingly mature vocals ensure that soulful bluesy tone remains. I for one prefer the heavier rock sound, those skilful guitar solos are enough to make you stop and just listen!
“Blow To The Head” is exactly that! Heavier rock sounds, sexy guitar riffs and killer blows, bounding through with a definite metal edge! Gabriels’ drums are spot on in this track, keeping you flowing through into each new wave of sound while Jack does his part in equal measure and putting together a great sounding track!
“All Night Long” comes to the fore, just as strongly as Blow to the Head, but it’s pace is faster, the vocals are edgy, the overall sound uplifting and you know what, it made me want to air guitar and jump about… and damn that doesn’t happen often!
Then came, “Love Aggression”… opening softly, the vocals are sultry and perfectly fitting for a song about the uncertainty of love… mid way through, we get a feast for the ears once again with a gorgeously sexy guitar solo! “Love Aggression” shows just what the guys can do, taking you away to something rather different.
The sound changes a little into “Give It Up”, with a more blues/ rock feel. Back to a choppy pace, teamed with Harmonica and with that definite southern blues feel running through the back line. The vocals sit well with the drums making this a great track to lead you back from “Love Aggression” then take you on to “Through The Night”, with its modern softer rock feel. This next track is easy to listen to, vocals and lyrics fit beautifully, and the guitar riff is perfectly timed.
I have to say the sound of the album takes a little turn at Love Aggression, but it’s only a good thing! Then as we get to “It Burns”, we are listening to a heavy melodic, choppy vocal, rock track, with a certain determination!
“Stand Up”, opens with gritty powerful guitar, bring in drums then you are waiting, hoping, yes dare I say, teased a little…. what an intro… vocals come along and “Stand Up” is complete! A joy to listen to, it’s a sexy mix of strong guitar, and good vocals, with a surprise or two, to keep you listening!
Then onto “Anymore” and we are looking at a sultry, rock ballad with great vocals, and strong guitar. A really lovely penultimate track that brings you to my favourite track of the album… A powerfully slow mix of deep lyrics and heavy instrumental, interspersed with those guitar riffs, flows “Free” there is a story here… if you missed it! “Free” is a beautiful tale, of lost love and freedom, wrapped up in a smooth rock ballad, and a fantastic end to, a great album!
Virgil is by far the driving force within the band, but he is far from alone, Gabriel and Jack certainly play their part and the three of them, with the undeniable production of Mr Tsangarides have created something well worth a listen or three…!
Review by Xenia Seurat.