• 8/10
    GREAT WHITE - Elation - 8/10


Frontiers Records
Release date: May 18, 2012

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

There is no question that Great White hasn’t shown the most stability in their storied career. However, one thing has always remained an unquestionable constant: lead singer and band founder Jack Russell. Now with their 12th studio album, Elation, Great White had taken a completely new direction and replaced Russell with new vocalist Terry Ilous (most recognized as vocalist for the band XYZ). The band states they have been “re-charged” and “re-focused”, taking on a new direction while opening a new and exciting chapter.

Original members Mark Kendall (guitar), Michael Lardie (guitar), and Audie Desbrow (drums) are in glorified attendance with this album. The band certainly still has the same spark and arrogance performing their signature Bluesy, Hard Rock brand of Metal. The twelve tracks presented are inspiring and refreshing; Mark Kendall and company can still hold their own as a very formidable act that can keep up with any similar modern day artists.

There is a learning curve that must be accepted when listening to this album. Unfortunately, during the first listen, fans surely won’t be able to help comparing Terry Ilous to Jack Russell. Understandably, this is a normal reaction considering Russell’s voice has defined the band’s sound for nearly 30 years. However, once the listener makes the acceptance that Terry Ilous is the new voice of Great White, then full appreciation for the album can begin.

Ilous has a raspy, high pitched voice, similar to that of Axl Rose, unlike Russell’s smooth Robert Plant-like high tenor. Essentially this gives the band more ammunition to make an even stronger Bluesy, Hard Rock sound. Ilous comes out very convincing with the first track “(I’ve Got) Something For You”, and immediately proves he can create a persuasive and energetic performance. Ilous carries himself confidently and shows true command at the helm. There is no sign of him showing any kind of intimidation being the leader of an already established enterprise.

Mark Kendall and Michael Lardie do an excellent job of continuing their signature riffs, which have made the band famous over the years. There is no lack of enthusiasm on their part either as each track is played with lively vigor and includes very memorable melodies. One of the tracks that really stands apart from others musically is “Lowdown.” This is a slower tempo song with extremely heavy and dark guitar riffs; much different from their usual upbeat rhythms. It has a melancholy feel, similar to their classic “Old Rose Motel.”

As a whole, Elation is a fun and carefree album, much like many of their previous albums. Now with new vocalist Terry Ilous, the band has a new outlet to take many different directions. Elation proves that an incumbent lead singer does not define a band; it’s 100% about the music. Great White has to be looking forward to an exciting next step, and quite possibly a re-emergence back into stardom.


  • Sean Meloy

    Sean Meloy was a reviewer, interviewer and DJ here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Iowa , USA. By day he is a straight laced, buttoned up, number crunching accountant; armed with his portable calculator. All other times he is a hard rocking Metal head! He spent many hours listening to records and 8-tracks with his father. Classic bands such as Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Kansas, Led Zeppelin, and Eric Clapton just to name a few. His father bought him his first record, Kiss Alive II, at age 6. By the time he reached his teens he was discovering all the Classic Metal of the 1980’s; Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Twisted Sister, etc. He became a huge fan of the Thrash Metal of the time as well; Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Exodus, and Overkill. During the 1990’s he experimented with the Grunge and Hard Rock. However, by the time the millennium came he found himself going back to his roots and rebuilt the music collection he started in his teens.

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