Westworld (Roadrunner) 1999
What we have here is the marriage of two of metal's most well kept secrets. On vocals we have the incredible Tony Harnell, who hails from the criminally underrated TNT. On guitars we have Mark Reale from the equally underrated American metal pioneers Riot. Together with ex-Danger Danger bassist Bruno Rabel and drummer John O'Reilly, the band creates a fine melodic rock album.. The mid-tempo, driving rockers should please fans of any of the aforementioned bands, although nothing here is as heavy as either bands early material. Whether or not anyone thinks Westworld is better than bands like TNT or Riot is a matter of opinion. I will say that Westworld sounds more like TNT, than even TNT did on releases like "Firefly" and "Transistor". In my opinion it would be hard for Westworld to ever create anything that could top the classic albums from Riot or TNT. However, without all the comparisons, this is a very good CD. Tony Harnell's vocals are certainly a high point here. His smooth vocals and melodic harmonies are downright infectious and Reale's guitar work is superb. He shreds when he needs to shred, but offers up more melodic solos when they are needed. Even the ballads here are incredible. There is a slight modern feel to the overall sound, although it's not to the point where I would label this "modern rock". After all, what modern rock band offers up guitars solos like Mark Reale can deliver? Westworld's debut is a completely enjoyable debut. (thanks Joe)
Westworld - Skin (Dreamscape) 2000
1. "Skin" (4:40)
"Skin" is slightly heavier in spots and just a bit darker that Westworld's debut. As with the debut there are no instantly likeable rock anthems, but the more you listen, the more the subtle harmonies and hooks begin to come out. Not unlike some TNT, Westworld mixes in some modern influences, which work well for the band. As usual, Tony Harnell's vocals are incredible. As I also suspected, the musicianship is flawless. Mark Reale is an incredible guitar player and offers a lot to these songs. Both his rhythm work and his leads are spectacular. I cringed a bit when I read that the band was doing a remake of a Alanis Morrisette song but Tony's vocals on "Uninvited" actually elevates the song far beyond the original. OK, "Skin" may not be the best album that any of these men have put out in their various bands, but apart from comparing it to their other projects, this is a very good CD.