Worldview - The Chosen Few (M24 Music) 2015
1. Mortality (5:37)
2. Illusions of Love (4:19)
3. Back in Time (5:02)
4. The Mirror (4:56)
5. Why? (3:59)
6. Prisoner of Pain (5:33)
7. Two Wonders (5:59)
8. Walk Through Fire (3:45)
9. The Chosen Few (6:49)
10. The Last Cry (5:19)
Over the past decade or so I had seen Recon live many times. Each time they played there was a promise of a new Recon record titled "The Chosen Few" to follow-up their 1990 classic "Behind Enemy Lines". Of course year after year went by and nothing transpired from the Recon camp. In 2014 (or was it 2013?) it was announced that Recon guitarist George Ochoa would be recording a new album with former Sacred Warrior vocalist Rey Perra. Apparently it was a bit of fate that brought the two together following the tragic 2009 passing of mutual friend and Sacred Warrior keyboardist Rick Macias. According to the liner notes, the collaboration was to honor their friend since he always encourage a musical collaboration between the two. "The Chosen Few" was mixed and mastered by metal-guru Bill Metoyer.
Musically this band is very melodic and progressive sounding closer to what you might expect from Sacred Warrior than to what you would expect from American power metal band Recon. Musically the band is a nearly equal blend of guitars and keyboards, reminding me of power metal bands like Kamelot or Angra. I've read a few reviews that compare the album to "Empire"-era Queensryche as well.
The album opens with a Middle Eastern sounding riff and rhythms before breaking into a full power metal song complete with crunchy riffs and killer vocal harmonies. Follow-up track "Illusions of Love" starts off sounding like it will be a fast speed-metal number but actually slows down and becomes a melodic, mid-pace song. “The Last Cry” and “Walk Through Fire” are a pair of heavy power metal rockers with a slight progressive edge as well.
"The Chosen Few" is a title that was originally meant to be released under the Recon moniker. In fact, Recon sold "The Chosen Few" t-shirts at concerts. However, with the vocal melodies of Rey, the song tends more towards what you would expect from his former band than Recon. The song is a stunning seven minute progressive ballad that starts as a melancholic piano number with splendid vocal harmonies and gradually building momentum with the guitars becoming more prominent. As well the song features some backing female vocals from Niki Bente and a bridge sung by Bloodgood vocalist Les Carlson. One of my favorite tracks is "Prisoner of Pain" which has a classic Sacred Warrior vibe and features a guest "wah-wah" guitar solo from Larry Farkas (Vengeance Rising, Sircle of Silence, Once Dead). This song is definitely one of the heavier tracks with the keyboards robbing the song of it's heavy vibe. The track ends with a bit of a nod to Led Zeppelin with Rey emulating the high-pitched vocal intro of "Immigrant Song". Perhaps the most immediately catchy song is "Walk Through Fire", a hooky, melodic rocker and one of the shorter numbers on the album.
Overall, this is a fine debut album from Worldview. Anyone who is expecting the long-awaited for follow-up to Recon's "Chosen Few" will most likely be disappointed. American-style power metal this is not. This album is all about melodic song writing and less about catchy guitar riffs or riff-driven songs. However, those who appreciate the more melodic nature of Sacred Warrior and the power metal of bands like Kamelot are sure to enjoy thiws album.
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