Friday, January 13, 2012

Doogie White - As Yet Untitled

Doogie White
As Yet Untitled
Metal Mind Productions

Over his twenty-five year career, Scottish born Doogie White has earned a reputation as one of the classic hard rock/metal scene’s finest vocalists, with a resume boasting works alongside big names such as Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow (1995’s ‘Stranger In Us All’), Praying Mantis (2003’s ‘The Journey Goes On’), Tank (2010’s ‘War Machine’), Yngwie J. Malmsteen’s Rising Force (2002’s ‘Attack!!’ and 2005’s ‘Unleash The Fury’), Empire (2007’s ‘Chasing Shadows’), Cornerstone, Michael Schenker, and countless other acts. But surprisingly enough, it’s taken the Scotsman a long time to turn his attention solely on his own project. But while White’s debut solo effort ‘As Yet Untitled’ has been a long time coming, it’s been worth waiting for.
As you would expect, White has assembled an impressive list of friends as his backing band for his debut effort, with guitars handled by Pontus Norgren (Hammerfall, and who doubles on production duties), Marcus Jidell (Royal Hunt/Evergrey), Phil Hilborne and Mick Tucker (Tank), bass from the legendary Neil Murray (Whitesnake), Greg Smith (Ted Nugent) and Paul Logue (Eden’s Curse), keyboards courtesy of Derek Sherinian (Black Country Communion) and Tony Carey (Ex-Rainbow) and drums from Patrick Johansson (Yngwie J. Malmsteen) and Thomas Broman (Glenn Hughes).
If the title wasn’t a dead giveaway, the opening track ‘Come Taste The Band’ has a strong Deep Purple feel and sound with its extended keyboard introduction, and White putting in a convincing David Coverdale impersonation throughout the hard rocking classic. The guest vocals from Patti Russo (Of Meat Loaf/Cher fame) is an absolute stroke of genius, as her vocals add some real contrast to White’s efforts, while the band’s performance is nothing short of storming.
On ‘Time Machine’, White channels Saxon’s Bif Byford out front, while the band provide a soundtrack that sounds like a cross between AC/DC and Rainbow, while the strong and groove based ‘Dreams Lie Down And Die’ is easily the album’s heaviest track, and sounds reminiscent of Jørn Lande’s solo efforts.
Both ‘Lonely’ and ‘Land Of The Deceiver’ liven things up the middle of the album with their faster paces and metallic slant (Especially within the heavy guitar riffs and thundering drums), while tracks such as the bluesier ‘Secret Jesus’, the slower Led Zeppelin tinged ‘Sea Of Emotion’ and the classy ‘Times Like These’ show the many sides to White’s approach to the classic rock sound.
While the album does have a couple of tracks that don’t quite live up to the high standard of the bulk of the album (Namely the AC/DC based cock rocker ‘Catz Got Yer Tongue’ and the basic riff rocker ‘Living On The Cheap’), White has managed to surrounded himself with an elite team of musicians, written some truly great songs and released a long overdue solo album that’s every bit as impressive as expected.

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© Justin Donnelly