We have to thank record company Frontiers for pulling vocalist and guitarist Fred Hendrix out of his solo projects. By doing so Fred brought Terra Nova back to life together with his brother, co-mastermind and keyboardist Ron Hendrix. Six years after calling it a day, they started writing and recording again which became Escape, their come-back album. Originally, the band started in 1992; their first album Liviní It Up was an instant success in Europe and Japan. Terra Novaís melodic AOR-rock with lots of bombastic background vocals was highly appreciated in these parts of the world. After two equally successful albums and struggling with their record company, they finally broke up. Now five years after the re-start of Terra Nova is Come Alive, bringing back the original line up only adding bass player Eric Coenen again, who also played on the two previous albums. Lead guitarist Gesuino Derosas and drummer Lars Beuving played in the original setting of the band.
Come Alive is a typical melodic rock album that has its roots in the eighties: riffing guitars, multi-layered keyboards with an enthusiastic vocalist and many background vocals. The entire album breathes an atmosphere of the late eighties and the nineties, thinking of bands like Giant and Tommy Denanderís bands and projects. For the melodic rock fans this is high quality music. Thereís a piano ballad The Final Curtain, with a relaxed sounding ending solo. The epic song Under Pressure starts with some fine piano and emotional vocals turning into a more up-tempo, mood changing song. On Holy Grail there is a lot of na-na-na in the background, which gives this music a nostalgic feeling. For me, Those Eyes and the title track are the highlights of this album. The first one is a dramatic ballad with some outstanding guitar solos that make my flesh creep. The fans of old melodic rock and AOR will like this. Here Comes The Night, could be a Heart-song, not sung by Ann Wilson, but by Fred Hendrix. Most songs are mid- and up-tempo that just have that little extra to put the album to a higher level. The title track Come Alive is very catchy and should be played on radio-stations that play classic rock.
I donít know if thereís still a market for melodic rock and AOR these days, but albums like this should be able to bring this genre back to life. It has all melodic rock fans need: a fantastic vocalist, multi-layered keyboards, great solos and breathtaking background vocals.
*** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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