AIRTIME – Liberty Manifesto

AIRTIME - Liberty Manifesto
  • 7.5/10
    AIRTIME - Liberty Manifesto - 7.5/10


Escape Music
Release date: November 12, 2007

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

It seems like an eternity since Canada’s Rik Emmett (ex-guitarist with Triumph) released any Hard Rockin’ material. One would have to look back as far as 1993 as a matter of fact. Ten years later (2003) Emmett crosses paths with Mike Shotton (Von Groove vocals, drums) and the two start writing music for a combined project. After two years of fitting hard work, in between personal touring and recording schedules this two-man band is ready to unveil their project known as Airtime along with a release entitled Liberty Manifesto.

Even though this release took some time to complete, the end result was certainly worth the wait and their fine attention to detail definitely shines through. Emmett takes the helm on lead vocals, guitars and basses while Shotton handles basically everything else, including production and engineering. What the two-some has to offer here is some strong Melodic Hard Rock with Progressive and Jazz Rock overtones!

Opening track, “Edge Of Your Mind,” is one of the strongest offerings and it starts off with the timid sounds of machinery before bursting into a nice Melodic Jazz Rock vibe and up-tempo gallop. A nice Emmett guitar riff fuels the song’s strong chorus and when all is said and done it translates into one hell of a rocking tune! If that’s not aggressive enough, then the heavy, thumping bass and guitar lines of “Midnight Black & Blue” should bring a smile to any Doubting Thomas’ face. It begs the question of where Rik has been all these years … he’s been busy … just not playing this type of Rock format.

There are twelve tracks in all and there are certainly a few slower, mellower tracks strewn amongst other Hard Rocking highlights like “River Runs Deep,” “Addicted,” “Rise,” and “Transmutation” (which surprisingly is a rocking, Progressive instrumental track).

Vocally, Emmett sounds as good as his Triumph days even though there are not as many lead breaks on tap here as fans might have become accustomed to with classic Triumph. Shotton, on the other hand, hits the skins as skillfully and as hard as anyone in the business and really propels most tracks along.

According to Emmett’s Web site Airtime will become “a public, working band” with the addition of Dave Dunlop on guitar and Steve Skingley on bass. Hopefully this means some tour dates.

Bottom line, this release probably caught most casual Emmett fans off guard, especially those that wrote him off years ago with some of his latest easy listening releases. Liberty Manifesto proves that even 30 years after Rock And Roll Machine was released, he still has the fortitude to return to his roots and Rock! Definitely, a sleeper release with an overall unique sound that can’t be missed by Hard Rock fans!


Rik Emmett – Lead Vocals, Guitars, Basses
Michael Shotton – Drums, Percussion, Noises, Keyboards, Backing Vocals


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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