Review: Kelly Simonz’s Blind Faith – Blind Faith

Location: Osaka, Japan
Genre: Neoclassical Power Metal
Released: March 26, 2014
Format Reviewed: FLAC
Feature: Global Conquest – Recent Releases

By: Kris Kotlarik

Kelly Simonz has been plugging away since 1998, but this is Blind Faith’s first album since 2002. The best comparison I can draw for those unfamiliar with his work would be if Yngwie Malmsteen lost all sense of songwriting.

As harsh of a comparison as this may seem, I submit to you that the main riff to “Burning In My Soul” is nearly an exact replica of Van Halen‘s “Panama.” Simonz also seems to like Stevie Ray Vaughan a little bit too much, as “The End Of The Beginning” might be found within Vaughan’s discarded writing ideas. “Requiem,” a slow and brooding ballad, isn’t any better. “Opus #2 – No. 1” comes across as a scaled-back Trans-Siberian Orchestra track.

On a positive note, there is plenty of evidence to suggest Simonz, like Malmsteen, has a well-trained ear for classical melodies and applying them to shredding guitar solos that can be found throughout Blind Faith. This is especially noticeable in the blistering shred instrumentals “Allegro Maestoso” and “Opus #2 – No. 2,” as well as the significantly slower “Silent Sorrow.” Other solos can be heard throughout the album; at times they seem to be forced into the music merely for the sake of existing, reminiscent of this live performance of Steve Vai’s “Still My Bleeding Heart.”

There are some elements of speed metal on here as well; in addition to the aforementioned “Allegro Maestoso,” other tracks to look into are “N.W.O.,” “Toki-No-Kakera,” and the bonus track, “Now Your Turn.” The songwriting still isn’t top-notch, but if male operatic vocals are in your wheelhouse, then these songs will be of interest to you.

Overall: The drab songwriting hinders the talent of the group.

Rating: 1.5*

 

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