Now here is a pleasant surprise: my favourite Dutch melodic rockers combined with my favourite melodic rock label! And of course the fact that Terra Nova are back once again is a plus in itself. But have they reinvented themselves?
Well the answer is short and simple: no. But is that a bad thing? Again: no. After all, I am quite sure that the people who fell in love with the band before, did that because of the highly melodic brand of rock from these guys. And besides, talented musicians (check for instance Gesuino Derosas guitar playing) as well as nice guys! Well maybe a very small change: in the past some songs turned out to follow quite predictable paths and this time it somehow feels they avoided the all too obvious. Although perhaps not all people will notice that. Band leader, principal songwriter and singer / producer Fred Hendrix still has that knack for writing catchy songs and the band never disappoint in delivering tasty arrangements. Brother Ron again supplies fine keyboards and drummer Lars Beuving provides solid beats as per usual.
Favourite songs are always a matter of personal taste. Opener Meltdown is a typical Terra Nova rocker. A track like the mid tempo Broken grabbed me from first play. Jenna opens with a vintage wurlitzer sound and is sure-fire lighter moment in a live set.
All in all I am tempted to think this is one of their best yet, so thumbs up and let’s hope for a long fruitful journey for both parties!
Don´t know if I can write an unbiased piece about this band, as I know them personally. Fred Hendrix (singer, recording, producer and principal songwriter) produced the first 2 albums by my band Chinawhite and our drummer Hans played for Terra Nova in the early days and also did other work for Fred. Guitar player Gesuino Derosas I consider to be one of the best players to ever emerge from these shores, and his playing here is more proof of that. Rounding out the band are Fred´s brother Ron on keyboards and Lars Beuving on drums. All members perform backing vocals as well, and they are important to the band´s melodic sound.
Causing quite a stir with their first album, especially in Japan, I feel Terra Nova have gone from strength to strength. Fred is not only a nice guy, but also writes easy accessible tunes that sound familiar in an instant. Some may say that it´s on the save side, other will say he strives for creating melodic rock songs that are ready for the masses. What no one can deny is that every album delivers the goods. From the beginning Fred has had a clear view of what he wanted to achieve, and he has never let that out of his sight. I admire him for that.
Influenced by the sound of acts like Journey and Foreigner, whether in ballad style, or with the rockers present (some are surprisingly heavy). It sounds great as usual, backing vocals are huge, and when he gets some space, Gesuino shreds or plays a melodic solo with impeccable feel. Not for every hour of the day maybe, but always tasty when called upon!