Out now on Kivel Records

Lavalle are a new outfit fronted by guitarist Ed Lavalle who is backed up by an impressive cast of vocalist Carsten ‘Lizard’ Schulz (Domain, Evidence One), drummer Ramy Ali (Evidence One, Iron Mask) and bassist Paul Logue (Eden’s Curse) for the debut album “Dear Sanity”.

Fans of melodic metal ala Dokken, Ratt and Scorpions pay attention now as this may just be the best album of this style you will hear in 2013.

“Dear Sanity” is home to great songs with big hooks and commercial punch (albeit in an 80’s fashion). The production is stellar and Schulz is at the top of his game whether it be belting out verses or adding depth with strong  backing vocal choirs on choruses.
Ed  Lavalle himself comes across as no slouch in a Lynch/DeMartini/Jake E Lee sort of style, a solid player.  Logue and Ali lay down the rhythmic thrust with precision which adds the necessary groove as well.

Highlights are plentiful from opening brace of “Fading Like The Sun” and  “Scared To Love”, these are big rock tunes. “Don’t Cry” reminded me a little of the majestic work on the second Balance album from the early 80’s – no bad thing.  “Cry Of The Wolf” possesses more punch than a heavyweight boxing contest.  Elsewhere “Smoke And Mirrors” reminded me a little of Schulz and Ali’s work in Evidence One, perhaps due to the heavy vocal layering.  Power ballad fans will be well served by “One Day At A Time” and “Break Your Heart”.  “Rock Your World” is the only track I find myself skipping, maybe because the following track and album closer, the melodic “Wait Too Long” is another gem of a song.

Ed Lavalle and co can be very proud of their debut work, a great collection of songs which have a good running order and don’t outstay their welcome.   Lavalle are a name to watch and this comes highly recommended.

Rating – 90%

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