Gary Barden
Eleventh Hour

1. Baghdad
2. Fallen by the wayside
3. Child of Sorrow
4. What you wanna do
5. We are dead
6. All in
7. Blackmail
8. Shine a light on me
9. Easy does it
10. Before the eyes of the world
11. Don’t take me for a loser

Gary Barden (Vocals)
Tommy Denander (Guitar)
Chris Elbers (Drums)
Andy Midgley (Guitar)
Steve Morris (Guitar)
Matthias Rethman (Bass)
Michael Voss (Keyboards)

Past & Present - MSG remixed (2004)
Agony & The Xtasy (2006)
Love and War (2007)
Rock 'n Roll My Soul (2010)
with The Michael Schenker Group
The Michael Schenker Group (1980)
MSG (1981)
One Night at Budokan (1982)
Built to Destroy (1983)
Rock Will Never Die (1984)
Heavy Hitters (2005)
Tales of Rock'n'Roll (2006)
In the Midst of Beauty (2008)
with Schenker Barden Acoustic Project
Gipsy Lady (2009)
with Praying Mantis
To the Power of Ten (1995)
Captured Alive in Tokyo City (Live 1996)
with Statetrooper
Statetrooper (1986)
The Calling (2004)
with Silver
Silver (2001)
Dream Machines (2002)
Intruder (2003)
Addiction (2004)
Gold (2005)

Richard Baker (keyboards)
Eric Ragno (keyboards)
Dave Gross (keyboards)

Michael Voss (Engineer, Instrumentation, producer & Mixing)
Christoph Stickel (Mastering)
Eric Philippe (Cover Design & Logo)
Gary Barden (Composer)
Russ Ballard (Composer)
Jürgen Breforth (Composer, Lyricist)
Tommy Denander (Composer)
Francis Miller (Composer)
Gary Moore (Composer)
Steve Morris (Composer)
Michael Voss-Schön (Composer, Lyricist)
Algy Ward (Composer)

Released 21/10-2012
Reviewed 18/9-2012


I guess my slogan for this Gary Barden album will have to be "better late than not at all" as I've finally come around to review this album almost the full year after its release. I wish I had something better to blame but it's entirely my fault it's taken such a long time reviewing the album because I've had the album, I've played the album but due to a bad combination of insufficient time and interest I'm shamefully admitting it's been foreseen. So, my deepest apologies to everyone involved for the delay but as I said - better late than not at all.

'Eleventh Hour' is a thematic album about war, death and greed from the former Michael Schenker vocalist and it's his fifth solo album. When Barden recorded the album he was still a member of Michael Schenkers group but just a couple of months before the release they parted ways for the fourth or fifth or whatever time (who keeps count?) and since then it's been a bit silence about Mr Barden. I'm sure he has plenty of open doors with the credentials he has that includes collaborations with Gary Moore and bands like Praying Mantis - besides his many albums with Michael Schenker Group. There's also a few moments where Barden really shine on this album, but overall I'd say it's pretty far from his best so far.

I've played 'Eleventh Hour' 18 times by now and you might think that is a lot, which it probably is. But considering I've had the album for almost a full year it's not even once a fortnight. Barely once every third week. There's always a reason why reviews take this far and I can assure you that it's almost never because the album is so great. And very seldom because it's so bad either. All too often it's because the album isn't inspiring enough and you find it so difficult to have something concrete to say about the album that you just play the album without finding any words for it over and over again. And that's probably the biggest reason for why this review has taken so long, 'Eleventh Hour' is boring, simply put.

Maybe I need to clarify what I just wrote, I don't think 'Eleventh Hour' is a bad album. I can't really say I find many things that's bad about it at all, nor that I think Barden could or should have done plenty of things differently. What I do think is that 'Eleventh Hour' lacks that something something that makes an album particularly interesting. The songs don't have any big flaws and the production side isn't bad either, nor has anything else but the song writing feels a bit flat and I'd probably use that word on the overall production as well. Flat. The opening song, Baghdad, could have been a great rock tune if it wasn't for that possession about thrashing George Bush and Tony Blair all through the song. In the seventh song Barden sings "Baby that's blaaackmaiiiil" but the whole thing just feels like the soundtrack of a motorcycle film from the 80's and it doesn't get better in the next song because while the song itself is pretty good, Shine A Light On Me just feels like any other song ever made in this genre previously - not special at all!

And frankly I think that's where 'Eleventh Hour' goes wrong. There's nothing seriously wrong with the quality or the production and neither on Bardens kind of lispy vocals but I just feel it's been heard before - it's familiar, worn out and not interesting any longer. I give that the album is pretty varied, pretty good and lacks obvious mistakes but I just feel it's a series of copies from music that's already existed for quite some time. However, if you are a big fan of the AOR genre and like everything in it you'll probably have a lot of fun with this album, but if you aren't there's plenty of better alternatives.



Label: Escape Music/Connecting Music
Three similar bands: Michael Schenker Group/Gary Moore/Praying Mantis
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm

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