• 6.5/10
    THE SONIC REVOLUTION - Power Failure - 6.5/10


Release date: October 24, 2006

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Three albums in less than three years is generally unheard of in today’s music business. Yet after being in existence for only four years, The Sonic Revolution has three discs under its belt in as many years, the latest being Power Failure, and all without label support. Self-financed, self-recorded, and self-released, these Long Island Metalheadz are a testament to their musical passion, as well as a testament to the rise of independent artists.

Put together as a studio project by guitarist Joe Marselle, the four members quickly realized they had good chemistry and the studio project took shape as a full-fledged band. Joining Marselle in The Sonic Revolution, vocalist Nick Parisi, bassist Peter Doxtader and drummer Tony Saccone have solidified their East Coast Hard-Knox sound, meshing their love for Heavy Metal and strong melodies.

TSR has a modern edge, but is definitely rooted in the mid-eighties Hard Rock vein; picture Badlands with Zakk Wylde on guitar. TSR has a Bluesy foundation, but Marselle’s tight and crunchy guitar riffs keep the music up-to-date with the current Metal scene. Parisi often sounds like the late Ray Gillen, but without Gillen’s range. Doxtader plays the traditional support role of the unsung bassist, but is pivotal as a vocalist, a la Michael Anthony, by providing backing vocals and harmonies in the choruses. Providing the solid framework for the songs is Tony Saccone who drums with straight driving beats and grooving accents.

The hot spots on this disc are “Day In The Life,” “Thread,” and the title track “Power Failure”… all three exemplify strong melody-driven Rock anthems. Parisi has a warm voice and clear pronunciation, which makes this disc an easy sing-along the second time through. The lyrics are topical and thought provoking, and don’t rely on cliché Rock ‘N’ Roll formulas. Marselle is somewhat of a guitar legend in his neck-of-the-woods, and when he isn’t throwing down Dimebag-like riffs, he proves he can shred with the best of them; check out his solo in “Follow The Money” and the outro to “Never Again.”

Unfortunately, the do-it-yourself production that makes a band like TSR so endearing is also the shortfall of Power Failure. One of the increasingly common mistakes with many upstart bands is the “visual production,” wherein the levels are mixed visually on a Pro-tools set up, or similar digital recordings. There is no life to the mix when everything is mixed down evenly, which muddies the track and buries parts that should be jumping out of the speakers. Overall, Power Failure sounds like a high quality demo for Parisi; he comes through loud and clear while the rest of the band gets lost in a median sound, which lends no identity to the other parts. One has to applaud Saccone for using real drum sounds and not relying on the dreaded “trigger-effect,” but with the dull mix, all of his cymbal work and quick-handed chops are lost as incidental moments.

With three albums in the can, these guys have proven they can write and they can wield their instruments as serious craftsman; but it is time to bring a fresh set of ears to the studio and develop a sound that is going to make them stand apart from all of the other up-and-coming independents. Ten years from now, when TSR have found their sound and have gone on to sell millions of records, it will be great to hear Power Failure get re-mastered and have the mix it deserves.


  • Jeremy Juliano

    Jeremy was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He's been involved with and has been following the Metal scene since the early 1980’s. He started out his Metal journey with heavy doses of Maiden, Accept, and Saxon. And in recent years, he has enjoyed the new age of Metal with bands like Hammerfall, Edguy, and Nightwish, to name a few.

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