Sound — 9
I'm guessing you haven't heard of them! Brazen Abbot is the solo project of Bulgarian guitar virtuoso Nikolo Kotzev. He writes very melodic hard rock songs with some of the most highly talented vocalists around. My Resurrection features Joe Lynn Turner (Deep Purple, Rainbow, Yngwie Malmsteen), Goran Edman, Tony Harnell (TNT, Westworld, Morning Wood, Starbreaker) and the young Erik Martenson (Eclipse), all of whom give outstanding performances on this album. All the songs are incredibly well written and structured. Nik has come up with some great riffs, my personal favourite can be found on the track "Another Day Gone." As you expect there are some immense guitar solos, but these are never overwhelming. There are several layers of guitar in most songs on My Resurrection. You can often hear the wailing sound of Nik's trusty Ibanez relatively low in the mix and this, along with the contributions of the other members of the band, makes for some very complex songs with many aspects to listen to. That said, Nik can write simpler songs incredibly well. For a less complex rocker listen to the AC DC influenced "More Than Money." The best part of this song is written for one guitar, drums and vocals. He can also write some "lovely" power ballads. I'm thinking of "Dreams" in particular, with Nelko Kolarev's skills on the piano really shining through on this one.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics are in most cases written by the vocalists themselves. I wouldn't rate them beyond standard for what they say, except in the case of "More Than Money" which seems to deal with the issue of loving a person more than material belongings. I am led to believe "Beggar's Lane" has a very deep and meaningful message behind it's lyrics and the music certainly adds to this belief. As for the skills of the singers, well they're outstanding. Nik really does get the best in the business. Joe Lynn Turner is one of the best vocalists in rock. His classical trained voice sounds perfect on songs like "More Than Money" and "Dreams". Goran Edman is rock solid as always. I wouldn't rate him as highly as the others but he obviously has talent! Being a fan of TNT's My Religion album I was really looking forward to hearing Tony Harnell working with Nik. I can tell you I was not disappointed! His voice really adds something to the sound of Brazen Abbot. However, one critism I have is that in his opening song, "Godforsaken", the musical tune behind the lyrics in the verses seems a little lame. It doesn't fit especially well with the rest of the band. That said, the chorus sounds fine and his other songs do too. Finally, Erik Martenson, the young singer from Eclipse, is clearly held in high regard by Nikolo Kotzev. On his main track, "The Shadows", his voice is noticably higher in the mix than any other vocalist on the other tracks. In my opinion, Erik does a good job without really shining too much. I can see why Nik wanted to work with him - he clearly has great potential. I'll give the lyrics 9/10 because they aren't perfect, though the singers do fantastic jobs. At the end of the day I would never put the lyrics down as a reason to buy this album, though the use of several vocalists is something which may tempt rock fans to get this album.
Overall Impression — 10
Nikolo Kotzev produced the album himself and, like his song-writing, has been done very thoroughly. For this reason I believe it is the best Brazen Abbot album yet. The sound is comparable to the likes of Rainbow, but I believe Brazen Abbot is somewhat "kinder to the ear" if you like. I would compare their sound with the likes of Dream Theater, although the music is of course very different. I think if you are a fan of any of the vocalists ever involved in Brazen Abbot then this album is a must. Also if you enjoy listening to a guitar being shredded to pieces then this CD will have a place in your collection. I would call Nik the Bulgarian Richie Blackmore. He is highly talented as guitarist, producer and escpecially song-writer. His classical influences lead to some very inspiring songs. One problem I have with this album is that without "My Resurrection," "Bad Madman," "Godforsaken," "Another Day Gone" and "More Than Money" you would be left with a very bare album. It is these five songs that give the album it's life. The other songs are deffinitely worth their weight in minutes as they do add something to the album. But if these five songs had fallen below Nik's high standard then one could question the overall superiority of this album. If I were to pick one song off this album to listen to it would, 9 times out 10, be one of the afforementioned five. This CD is the prize of my collection. I couldn't live without it!