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Red Dawn – Never Say Surrender [1993]

HIGHLY over-looked gem deserves a home in any comprehersive AOR/melodic hard rock collection. There’s no words to describe this virtual supergroup of musicians gave us a superb combination of AOR and hard rock with powerful vocals, brilliant keyboards, big guitars and great songs with class hooks to back them up.

Red Dawn formed from virtuoso keyboardist David Rosenthal well known for his great work with Rainbow but also with Steve Vai, Climb, Departure,Whitesnake, Cindy Lauper, Vinnie Moore and many more. On vocals we found Larry Baud (Network) a veteran of the Mid-Atlantic club circuit, Tristan Avakian (Imaginary Few, Mitch Malloy, 98 Degrees) with his remarkable technique and melodic feel on guitars, Chuck Burgi also a former member of Rainbow on drums and well known for his great work with band such as Arcangel, Michael Bolton, Messano, Aldo Nova, Zeno, Joe Lynn Turner, etc. and bassist Greg Smith has been the rock-solid bottom for such luminaries as Alice Cooper, Vinnie Moore, Doro, Joe Lynn Turner and more. In that point I have to mention that the original singer with Red Dawn was the thoroughly misunderstood Mitch Malloy replaced by Baud… What we’ve got here is a very well played melodic hard rock with killer guitars, powerful vocals with a perfect mix of keys and a strong songwriting team that deliver us timeless songs.

Opening up with the truly amazing “Flyin High” having a stunning intro keyboards and features one of the most outstanding guitar solos you’ll ever heard. The next one “I’ll Be There” is an AOR jem with lots of keys, great guitars, outstanding backing vocals, catchy chorus and the superb growling voice of Baud. What comes next is “Liar” with a remarkable intro keys, powerful front and backing vocals, catchy chorus and a high octane energy level that will blow you away. “Dangerous Child” is another strong song where the rhythm guitars alternates nicely with a big sound, scratching vocals and some keyboard passages. In my opinion the highlight comes right after with “Promises”, a slow tempo song with a fabolous keyboard performance from Rosenthal and a powerful and sentimental at the same time Larry’s voice. Simply breathtaking and a must listener that’ll cause you chills with the awesome interpretation of the band. “I Can’t Get Over You” has some bluesy influences with a stunning keyboard outro that make it a masterpiece.

On next song under the name “Christine”, the keyboards are like no other, not cheesy but very well played with killer guitars and a perfect vocal perforance from Baud. “Take these Chains” is the album’s ballad, a typical of the kind with all the cliches that AOR ballads have but without losing any of that high energy that album has.The guitar playing is exceptional with a catchy riff and for once more an outstanding interpretation from Baud. “She’s On Fire” is an outstanding AOR track with a magnificent keyboard intro for once more, a great chorus, nice rhythm guitars and a superb bleating voice from Baud where can be smooth as silk when required. Finally we’ve got “Never Say Surrender” a song with a slice of pomp moments having great keyboard harmonies, big hook and guitar interplay all over the place filled with catchy chorus.

A superb combination of AOR and hard rock, an absolute must for fans of huge, keyboard-backed, guitar-driven from a top-professional band……


Band Members
Chuck Bürgi – Drums, Backing Vocals
David Rosenthal – Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Greg Smith – Bass, Backing Vocals
Larry Baud – Vocals
Tristan Avakian – Guitars, Backing Vocals

01. Flyin’ High
02. I’ll Be There
03. Liar
04. Dangerous Child
05. Promises
06. I Can’t Get Over You
07. Christine
08. Take These Chains
09. She’s On Fire
10. Never Say Surrender

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Rating: 9.1/10 (9 votes cast)
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Red Dawn - Never Say Surrender [1993], 9.1 out of 10 based on 9 ratings
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