A Neverending John’s Dream – Coming Back to Paradise (Pride & Joy Music)

Wednesday, 17th April 2024
Rating: 8 / 10

Sometimes we take our time to gain proper confidence in our abilities not just as a musician, but also in other extensions such as singing and songwriting. Such is the case for drummer Joan M. Heredia – who started to also write material while singing over twenty years ago, playing in dozens of other bands before finally starting his own act for A Neverending John’s Dream back in 2022. Rounding out the lineup as a quartet (joined by guitarist David Vidal, bassist Paul E. Schuster, and keyboardist Xavier Miro), Coming Back to Paradise is the debut album, a throwback melodic hard rock/metal outing that contains a lot of catchy hooks that may remind most listeners of music from the 80s and 90s.

Drawing from experiences of the human condition, music, and nature for the lyrics, the music also has that interesting balance between bright guitars and a bevy of keyboard tones that compliment the softer, alluring vocal approach Joan employs. David gets ample opportunity to flex his axe skills, especially in the lead sections of “Equilibrium” and “Save Me From Myself” where you can tell he pulls from a bevy of classic hard rock/metal guitar maestros. A sturdy epic atmosphere penetrates the main musical components for “If We Stand United”, Joan using some killer double kick / tempo juxtaposition next to dramatic keyboard parts from Xavier to bring home a soaring, harmony-fueled chorus that could be the album’s highlight. A quality ballad or two also feels like a given on this type of record – fortunately “Alone With My Shadow” has that next level theatrical quality featuring some fluid, classical-like piano passages as well as a slow building circular instrumental sequence that brings the subsequent chorus to an uplifting conclusion. Although commercial leaning for the majority of these eleven tracks, there are certain times where the individual musicians can flex a bit of their chops – Paul’s bass tricks front and center for second half favorite “Mother of All”, one of the heavier cuts on here marrying the best of 90s period Savatage with acts like GTR, FM, and other well established AOR-oriented bands from the 80s.

With future live gigs planned in Spain, A Neverending John’s Dream through Coming Back to Paradise have established a debut effort rich in melodic hard rock/metal tradition, delivering catchy songs that stay in your brain for quite a while. An act to watch if you enjoy this style that may be cult-like in appeal, yet still vibrant to those who clamor for more.

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