David Reece – Cacophony of Souls (El Puerto Records)Wednesday, 11th March 2020
Infamous for replacing metal legend Udo Dirkschneider during the late 80’s in Accept, David Reece recorded Eat the Heat with the band – at the time a commercial failure that now 30 + years beyond its release has been given modest respect and unsung gem appeal for many in the hard rock/metal community. Over the years he’s sung for other outfits too like Bangalore Choir and Bonfire – now sticking to the solo album route and dialing back in the power/melodic metal songwriting for Cacophony of Souls. Which makes sense, given his background and ideal bluesy/powerhouse range to combine forces with former U.D.O. guitarist Andy Susemihl that is rich in a street level brand of music chock full of hooks, melodies, and enduring tracks.
The listeners can expect a Euro/American blend in terms of charging bluesy riffs, exciting fleet of finger solo breaks, the occasional melodic refrain to reengage that hook-laden aspect to the songs – all filled in by the professional multi-tiered range of David that hasn’t lost any edge or class over the decades. Standouts are easy to pick out – the lower register crooning a la Billy Idol or David Bowie during the verses of the title track, the opening Pink Floyd-like guitar effects that give way to a thunderous mid-tempo riff parade on opener “Chasing the Shadows”, or the Accept/Judas Priest-ish double kick/guitar interplay that allows David to soar in and out to the sky during “Metal Voice”. Andy isn’t afraid to inject some acoustic guitars during many of these songs, especially tender and emotive against his clean electric layers for “Another Life, Another Time” which shows more of David’s Oklahoma/ southern-like AOR-ish charm. Top to bottom the record has a lot of bite and varied material, showcasing the man’s ability to traverse multiple genres and pull things off because of the talent and abilities on display – a heavier, Dio-ish “Over and Over” and Accept-like “Bleed” two back half headbangers that shift gears in opposite directions but will get the audiences clapping and singing along in fervor.
We all know that the roots of traditional heavy metal will never die – especially if David Reece has anything to say about it. Cacophony of Souls has that melodic heavy metal charm, fist pumping anthems and the right dynamic variety to keep the man top of mind to his fans, and a good sign that he’s not ready to ride off into the retirement sunset anytime soon.