Last Union – Twelve
ROAR Rock Of Angels Records
Running time: 53:58
Review by Lotty Whittingham
We’re all different and unique one way or the other but one thing we all crave is that morale boost when things aren’t going so well. How would we go about that? Comfort from a loved one, time to yourself or listening to something uplifting. An uplifting album that comes to mind is the debut album from Progressive Metal outfit Last Union.
“Twelve” is a portfolio of empowering and positive sounding tracks that will have you smiling within minutes.
Spurred on by positive reactions to their music, vocalist Elisa Scarpeccio and guitarist Cristiano Tiberi took some bold steps. First they invited Uli Kusch (ex-Helloween, ex-Masterplan) to join the ranks. He had expressed interest in becoming a full-time member after hearing the music. That similar story is behind Symphony X bassist Mike LePond, not to mention that Dream Theater vocalist James LaBrie sings on a few of the tracks of this stellar debut.
As previously mentioned, the album provides uplifting and empowering tones. This comes immediately with the opening track ‘Most Beautiful Day’. This soaring melody contains beautiful vocals from Elisa Scarpeccio. She has a fabulous voice that is the icing on the cake of the powerful riffs, sweeping rhythms and a key bass line. This track will place smiles across faces.
“Twelve” is an eclectic portfolio of tracks. For a first album that’s often quite a hard thing to achieve but in the case of Last Union, “Twelve” achieves this with flying colours. The one thing all the tracks have in common is that each has a way of providing empowerment in a straightforward way. They know which notes help people feel positive and they hit them immediately!
‘Hardest Way’ is somewhat the ballad of the album, it has a slower rhythm than the others. It gives the listener that uplifting feeling yet gets them to think at the same time. This is one of the tracks where you can hear all the musical arrangements working so well together. The on-point drum rolls, guitar solos that are bound to become timeless, beautiful vocal work and keyboard melodies that provide the ideal accompaniment. It’s one of the most well-rounded tracks on the album.
From the moment ‘Taken’ starts to play, you can tell instantly from the dirty riff that it’s a punchy song. This is one of the songs that features James LaBrie as a guest vocalist and his voice is perfect alongside Elisa’s. The harmony between these two is on point and the instrumental aspects provide the perfect accompaniment. It’s another example of a song where the elements fit together so well.
The melody of ‘Limousine’ starts off with a brilliant riff that will be swimming around in your head for hours, even days. What follows is a soaring melody that reminds you of living life in the fast lane. The beautiful vocals, excellent riffs, energetic rhythm and pounding bass line work together well to produce this song.
It ends on a rapid note with the song ‘Back In The Shadow’. It gives you one last glimpse of the band’s well put together material in a style they know best. The teamwork in the band’s work can be heard clearly in the songs. Each element of the record works alongside the other in a valiant fashion.
A great debut album all around.
01. Most Beautiful Day
02. President Evil (Feat. James LaBrie)
03. Hardest Way
04. Purple Angels
05. The Best Of Magic
06. Taken (Feat. James LaBrie) – Radio Edit
07. 18 Euphoria
08. A Place In Heaven (Feat. James LaBrie)
11. Back In The Shadow
12. Taken (Feat. James LaBrie)
13. President Evil (Feat. James LaBrie) – Video Version
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