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Will Wallner & Vivien Vain – The Battle Of Clyst Heath [2014]

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAlthough in this site mostly we move in Hard Rock/AOR fields today we will make an exception and this has to do with the second album of Will Wallner & Vivien Vain. But who are these? The band is the collaboration of guitarist Will Wallner a young British talent under the band White Wizzard and Croatian singer Vivien Vain that met each other in Los Angeles in 2010, with whom does this fruitful partnership.

After the band’s successful self-titled debut album released from Metal Mind Productions in 2012 they return with a new one “The Battle Of Clyst Heath”, that was inspired by the battle of Clyst Heath during the Wars of the Roses. Their first album featured a host of famous guest musicians and they’ve repeated on follow-up album, with Vinny and Carmine Appice on drums, Tony Franklin and Neil Murray on bass along with Don Airey on keys. The band’s sound is a mixture of melodic metal with classic rock and blues rock vibes but now the band makes a big step forward, the harmony of the duo is clearly increased and the songwriting is more mature and convincing.

The album start and end with two cover songs. The opening is a unique guitar rendition of the soundtrack to cult science fiction film Blade Runner original composed by Vangelis. The last song is a special tribute to Irish guitarist Gary Moore. With an extended arrangement and special guests Don Airey, Neil Murray and Vinny Appice.  The rest of songs which follow are loosely inspired by British history specifically the “Wars of the Roses”. Other highlights include “Black Moon” which features Carmine Appice and Tony Franklin, the original rhythm section to the power trio of Blue Murder, where the stylistic proximity to the debut album by Blue Murder will not surprise anyone seriously. The infectious “Visions of Home” is another winner starts off with bass and drums before an unforgettable guitar riff explode the song to another dimension having an outstanding laid back chorus. The flaunted ballad “The Battle of Clyst Heath” is another standout song worth mention, having a groovy bass line, punchy guitar soloing and a melody that will haunt you. Forget the ballads full of love emotions as here we have a real rock ballad at its best.

“The Battle of Clyst Heath” is simply a feast for the ears of heavy metal, played by musicians technically very steamy. The stellar production among with the savvy songwriting, the virtuoso guitar work of Will Wallner and not least the superb voice of Vivian Vain create a highly explosive mixture quite simply excellent!

Band Members
Vivien Vain – Vocals
Will Wallner – Guitar
Bjorn Englen – Bass
Giovanni Durst – Drums
Vinny Appice – Drums on tracks 4, 8
Carmine Appice – Drums on track 5
Tony Franklin – Bass on track 5
Neil Murray – Bass on track 8
Don Airey – Keys on track 8

01. Blade Runner
02. The War of the Roses
03. Visions of Home
04. Eye of the Storm
05. Black Moon
06. You Won’t Take Me Alive
07. The Battle of Clyst Heath
08. The Loner (Gary Moore Cover)

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