2011 release from Frontiers Records srl.
Toby Hitchcock – Vocals. Erik Martensson – All instruments.
4.5 out of 5 stars rating.
Reviewed by David.
- This Is The Moment.
- Strong Enough.
- How To Stop.
- Let Go.
- One Day I’ll Stop Loving You.
- I Should Have Said.
- If It’s To Be (It’s Up To Me).
- Just Say Goodbye.
- Summer Nights In Cabo.
- Tear Down The Barricades.
- A Different Drum.
- Mercury’s Down.
Toby Hitchcock emerged out of relative obscurity to the melodic rock world in 2003 as the frontman for the new band Pride Of Lions with the great Jim Peterik (ex-Survivor) and we were introduced to this young powerhouse vocalist.
If ever there were a time that the term “powerhouse vocalist” should apply it would be to this man. The set of pipes he has is truly incredible. The sheer power behind that voice is amazing. And in a genre that boasts some of the greatest voices the world has seen, that is really saying something.
After three studio albums and one live record with Pride Of Lions the band took a break and Toby went to work on his first solo record with the genre game changing label Frontiers Records.
Bringing in another up-and-comer, Erik Martensson (the young phenomenon behind the classic first W.E.T. album just two years prior who was not nearly as well known then as he is now but would release his band Eclipse’s third album the following year which saw him really break out into the star he is today), to write and produce the record as well as play every instrument on the album, Hitchcock laid down the vocals and released his solo album, ‘Mercury’s Down’, in August of 2011, much to the delight of the melodic rock world.
The record is stunning. Combine the soaring vocals of Hitchcock with the, now, unmistakable power and sound of Martensson’s writing and what you get is an instant classic in the genre. In fact, were it not for a slightly less than stellar track or two, this would be a masterpiece. Now don’t get me wrong, even on the very very few tracks that are not the best, Toby still sounds magnificent and the songs, while not as strong as the others on the record, are still not even close to being bad tracks.
From the opening chords of the powerful ‘This Is The Moment’ (click on the link near the top of the page to see the music video) to the fantastic vocals on the power ballad ‘One Day I’ll Stop Loving You’ to the thundering final track of the hard rocking ‘Mercury’s Down’, my favorite track of the album, this record has it all and it delivers time and time again and never lets up as song after song gives us a deeper appreciation for both Erik’s writing and the tremendous voice of Hitchcock.
This album gave us more of the early indications of just what was to come from the now world renowned melodic rock superstar that is Erik Martensson, a truly gifted and outrageously talented individual.
And, not that we needed further affirmation after the first three Pride Of Lions albums, it cemented Toby Hitchcock’s place in the annals of melodic rock as one of the great vocalists alongside other magnificent voices such as the late, great Jimi Jamison.
After this record Pride Of Lions released one more album, 2012’s ‘Immortal’, and Toby released one live album with another musician, writer, singer, producer extraodinaire, Alessandro Del Vecchio, called ‘Alessandro Del Vecchio & Friends With Toby Hitchcock: Live At Frontiers XX Anniversary’. While we are grateful for every morsal of music we get from Toby, one thing is very clear, we don’t hear nearly enough from this outstanding vocalist, though rumors have been circulating about him working on a second solo album, we can only hope that it sees the light of day very soon.
A very close to perfect record that is a melodic rock fan’s dream come true. Full of Martensson’s trademark sound of very big melodies, big production and of course the smooth, clean, huge vocal delivery from Hitchcock, this is one that deserves to be in every music library of melodic rock fans. If you have somehow missed this one then don’t hesitate to pick it up.
Very highly recommended.
‘This Is The Moment’.
‘One Day I’ll Stop Loving You’.
‘I Should Have Said’.
‘Summer Nights In Cabo’.
‘A Different Drum’.