01. Return to the Sky
02. Rising Son
03. Countdown
04. Hollywood Shooting Star
05. Thief in the Night
06. Cry of the Wounded
07. Always on my Mind
08. Feel the Fire
09. Destiny
10. Running from the Darkness
11. Babylon (exclusive European bonus track)

Rob Rock – vocals
Roy Z – guitars
Reynold “Butch” Carlson” – drums
Ed Roth – keyboards
Aaron Samson - bass guitar

Sons Of Thunder (2008)

Ray Burke - bass
Daniel Cordova - bass
Mark Boals - vocals

Recorded and mixed by Roy Z
Mastered by Maor Appelbaum

Released 25/5-2012
Reviewed 4/6-2012

metal heaven

Rob Rock and Roy Z once again cooperate to make the second Driver album following the 2008 debut Sons of Thunder, an album I completely missed when it was released and never knew of before reading the press info about this album. Neither did I know that Driver was born out of Project Driver by a band called M.A.R.S. if I understand correctly. You may have heard about both of these guys although I have not heard much of either but I have heard Rob Rock in Avantasia and Roy Z’s work with Bruce Dickinson but not that much of them to be honest. Rob Rock however is a known force in the melodic rock scene, a very well known singer in the scene and I guess that many will see him as a guarantee of this album being worthwhile. But is it really?

Metallic AOR is one way of describing this, in most part it is typical AOR with very catchy choruses and an overall melodic disposition. Rob Rock has a very competent voice that works well for this kind of music, the production is very polished and clean just like most modern AOR or melodic rock music. So slightly heavier AOR but in all intents and purposes it is still rather typical AOR, I would have to conclude that this album offers absolutely nothing in terms of uniqueness and it sounds quite like any other AOR band for the most parts of this album. The eleven tracks of which the ending one is a bonus track shows a decent variation on the AOR theme, no real surprises though and it ends up being a rather typical AOR album in terms of sound and style.

I can conclude that Driver pushes all the same buttons as nearly all AOR bands push, they come up with nothing new and to the question of it being worthwhile is up to what you demand from you music, if you are satisfied with your everyday AOR it is surely worthwhile but otherwise I am not quite sure. Sure it is well made and you can hear the confidence and routine with which this band create their music, the songs are satisfactory no denying that but so are the songs from many of the bands in the genre and most songs on this album are no better than anything else in the genre so why would you get this particular one? That is a difficult question and there is no obvious answer but perhaps because you enjoy listening to Rob Rock or something like that.

In the end I would say that this album is a bit of a disappointment as there are parts where the band really shines, where their potential shows. The seventh track Always on my Mind is a brilliant exception to this otherwise rather anonymous collection of songs, why didn’t they write more songs like that? I think that question is my lasting impression of this album. Although I don’t think we should just write this album off, after all it is a decent collection of catchy songs that works well at most occasions and that is not something to just dismiss so in the end it is a good album, anonymous but good.



Label: Metal Heaven/Germusica
Three similar bands: Impellitteri/Warrior/Axel Rudi Pell
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Review: Daniel Källmalm

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