JOURNEY – Revelation

JOURNEY - Revelation
  • 8.5/10
    JOURNEY - Revelation - 8.5/10


Nomota LLC
Release date: June 3, 2008

User Review
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Since the band’s inception in 1975, California originated US Rockers, Journey, have had their (un)fair share of well documented vocalist troubles. The most notable of the Journey vocalists is, of course, Steve Perry who had a part in becoming, what many categorize, as Journey’s “classic sound” and line-up. The band’s success with the falsetto based Perry was a blessing, but in some regards has become a curse. Finding a reasonably close match has evolved into a necessity due to the popularity of the Perry-era back catalogue in a live setting.

In 2006 Steve Perry’s replacement, Steve Augeri, had to leave for medical reasons. In steps legendary Jeff Scott Soto as a tour replacement followed by a tease for Hard Rock fans with an announcement of him joining the band full time. It turned out to be a short-lived announcement as news of Soto leaving the band was mere months away.

Near the end of 2007, after an endless and frustrating search, guitarist Neal Schon finds one Arnel Pineda (“pin-eh-da”)… through YouTube no less! Arnel originates from Quezon City in the Philippines and has been ironically singing Journey cover songs, as well as original material, with his band, The Zoo, for the past couple of years in clubs all over his homeland. Given the “boyish looks” of Arnel many might not guess that he is currently the age of 40. It was a video of Arnel singing “Faithfully” that no less clinched it in Schon’s mind.

So how does Journey decide to champion this new vocalist to die-hard fans? By not only releasing a new album in Revelation but by making it a three disc CD/DVD package and keeping the entire price at a mere $11.88 USD! The first disc consists of eleven new songs (well actually ten… more on that later) while the second is filled with eleven re-recorded classics, and the third is a live, in-concert DVD. The whole “in-store” package is currently a Wal-Mart exclusive in the States (although on-line ordering is an option through the band’s website, Amazon, etc.). To tip the scales towards success even further the band gets Kevin Shirley (who previously worked with Journey on their Platinum-certified Trial By Fire album) to handle music production.


Simply put… the new material with Pineda at the helm is exceptional! Pineda sounds one step closer to sounding like Perry than Augeri did. For some this might be a turn off but for the majority of die-hard Journey fans this should definitely be a welcome addition.

All of the music was penned primarily by Schon and Cain and it’s remarkable how presenting, on most occasions, sullen lyrical content the band can wrap it with an upbeat melody and infectious hook-line which results in a “feel good” song. A prime example is the opener, and current single, “Never Walk Away” with its tale of a relationship on the brink of disaster. Throw in an upbeat melody, an infectious chorus, Pineda’s exquisite melodic vocals and the listening experience is one of optimism versus despair. The whole song is reminiscent of Journey classics like “Be Good To Yourself”. It’s this kind of impeccable song writing that exudes an “eternal optimist” musical aura on this release.

On the other hand, the release is peppered with quite a few ballads which might turn off some “Metal Heads” but some of these come quite close to sounding as epic as “Faithfully” and “Open Arms”. Another disappointment is that Schon’s guitar at times seems to be slightly lower in the mix than guitar aficionados might prefer. Otherwise upbeat, infectious songs like “Change For The Better”, “Wildest Dreams”, “Faith In The Heartland” (re-recorded from Generations… hence “ten new tracks”?), “Where Did I Lose Your Love” and “What It Takes To Win” herald in the return of Journey to their classic, 80’s-era good time feel and sound!

Classics Re-Recorded Disc

The bonus audio disc is a collection of eleven Journey favorites/classics re-recorded with Pineda on vocals and of course Castronova on drums, who replaced Steve Smith from the original recordings. Arnel does an excellent job on each and every track and Journey fans should be quite pleased. It’s a great way to silence all the “yeah, but what will he sound like singing all the classics?” comments.

Track Listing

Only The Young
Don’t Stop Believin’
Wheel In The Sky
Any Way You Want It
Who’s Crying Now
Separate Ways
Open Arms
Be Good To Yourself
Stone In Love

Concert DVD

The bonus DVD, while unpretentious in features, really rounds out an exceptional package. The DVD contains 60 minutes of the band’s performance in Las Vegas with Arnel at the microphone. The DVD includes three new Revelation tracks with an energetic, guitar driven version of the new track “Wildest Dreams” being a highlight! Production wise, the camera angles and close-ups are all well timed. All footage, other then the long distance shots, has a nice clarity throughout as well as being presented in both 2.0 Stereo and 5.1 Surround Sound. Throughout the footage Arnel proves that he can just as prominently deliver in a live environment. Without giving too much away (since Metal Express Radio plans to do a concert review later this Summer) Pineda protrudes quick a bit more energy on stage then Journey fans might expect which gives the live setting a much needed injection of adrenaline!

Bottom line, this release heralds the return of Journey to the Melodic Rock fold. Given the strength of the Revelation disc thrown together in such a lush package this release becomes a “no-brainer” must buy for all Journey fans!!!


Neal Schon – Guitars
Jonathan Cain – Keyboards
Ross Valory – Bass
Deen Castronova – Drums
Arnel Pineda – 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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