Like Schubert In Rock’s debut album back in 2013, this new effort is an example of misused talent and a warning on how good performances alone can’t salvage a forgettable album. The fittingly titled Commander Of Pain takes us on a painfully mediocre journey through the land of generic Hard Rock, accompanied by some of our favorite AOR musicians who we can assume are there just to collect a paycheck.
It has been said by many that if you don’t have good songs, you don’t have anything, and Commander Of Pain makes a strong case for this. Despite some great vocal work by veterans like Jeff Scott Soto, Mike Vescera, Doogie White, and Marc Storace, the lions share of these songs simply pass in one ear and right out the other. Aside from the aforementioned vocal talents, even heavy hitters like long-time Michael Jackson guitarist Jennifer Batten make an appearance. Alas, the song structures, lyric themes, chord changes, and guitar riffs are all so well-tread that Commander Of Pain has essentially zero original substance to offer. Fans of the various guest performers may want to give this a listen, but otherwise there’s not much here to admire.
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