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STYLE: Hard Rock/AOR

PROFILE: Departure is the brainchild of American Multi-instrumentalist Mike Walsh who has a vast experience in the music industry. Over the years he has worked on numerous projects, such as Mark Thompson-Smith (Praying Mantis) and Dean Fasano’s Message. Mike has also worked with Bon Jovi over the years as well as having produced, scored, written and arranged several New Jersey Bands.

To ice the cake Mike has had the privilege of playing alongside such greats as Glen Burtnick and Aldo Nova.

In 1998 Mike gave us “Departure” (ESM028) which featured Ken Michaels on vocals and with special guest Dave Rosenthal (Red Dawn). This debut caught everyone’s attention as it combined the sounds of Saga, Journey, Toto and Tour de Force. The pressure was on to follow it up and so came “Open Your Mind” (ESM050) a year later with Dave Baldwin (Tradia / Voices / Solo) on lead vocals. Dave brought in a more pomp rock element and the band sounded more like a hybrid of Styx and Kansas. The album was beautifully arranged and boasted huge guitar solos, and immense layered keyboards. Dave Rosenthal once again guested on keys and also Duey Ribestello (Joe Lynn Turner) joined in on drums. At this time Departure were gaining popularity and their brand of melodic rock soon spread. At the end of 2001 the third Departure CD “Corporate Wheel” (ESM082) was released and, once again, Mike used a different vocalist, namely Timothy Lewis, a man who had an unbelievable vocal range. Mike’s guitar and keyboards were simply awe-inspiring and it really put Departure into the melodic rock hall of fame. “Corporate Wheel”has often been regarded as their finest release.that is..until now!

To follow these three masterpieces would prove to be very tough and it has taken a decade to unleash a fourth CD “Hitch a Ride” onto the eagerly awaiting melodic rock community. ┬áBut boy it is worth the wait..a release of epic proportions. Andi Kravljaca (Silent Call) has taken to the mike stand to deliver an outstanding vocal performance. The calibre of his vocals coupled with fine musicianship brings us a powerful array of tunes that stand out as Departure’s most powerful outing to date. Songs like “No Where to go”, “Soldier of Fortune” and “Roses” are just simply forces to be reckoned with.

Departure are back with a vengeance, there is no finer way to start 2012

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– Departure [1998]
– Open Your Mind [1999]
– Corporate Wheel [2003]
– Hitch A Ride [2012]

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Departure, 8.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
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