Out now on Avenue Of Allies

Debut offering from a Brazilian band fronted by German vocalist Carsten ‘Lizard’ Schulz (Evidence One, ex Domain) and its nice to see musicians from outside European or North American lands getting a shot.  Home to 11 tracks clocking in at a reasonable 53 minutes, this is a strong first offering full of enjoyable melodies and strong musicianship in the melodic rock field.

Opener “Time (Live And Learn)” sets a high bar from the off with its strong chorus refrain, before “Close Your Eyes” serves up some scandie rock overtones reminiscent of the now sadly defunct Damned Nation and again has a very worthy chorus – home to some trademark vocal harmonies from Schulz.  Dual guitar team of De Grigo and Marcos Peres combine well on “Who’s Fooling Who” with a commercial edge reminiscent of Bad English. The track written by Eden Curse’s Paul Logue is a heart-warming number with another strong vocal. The power balladry of “I Will Wait” is another winner with a nice modulation into the chorus. The fast paced “Wait And See” is another Paul Logue number and is carried along by a pumping riff.

The piano intro of “No More Mistakes” originally had me thinking its was going turn into Savatage’s ‘Gutter Ballet’ but instead it develops into an east coast AOR infused number, the vocal from Schulz is again commendable working around a low-end smoky Coverdale-ish timbre. The drums samples (one presumes) do get a little overwhelming here but otherwise it’s another highlight.  Likewise “You” begins with humble piano beginnings before developing into a heavier number than its predecessor and again works well.  This heavier timbre is continued with the mid tempo of “Set Me Free” which has another nice refrain to it.

The first of two versions of “Steel Or Stone” sets us on the home run.  The first is geared towards radio although I prefer the bonus acoustic version to the electric one.  Both versions sandwich “Not In Paradise” which sees a guest vocal from Doogie White (ex Rainbow, ex Malmsteen, Cornerstone) although sadly he has the weakest track on the album with it just lacking some of the fire of the music heard elsewhere.

Overall Paradise Inc has served up a strong debut.  Whilst it could be argued there is a lack of a totally original sound, this is something that could be thrown at the majority of the melodic rock scene.  As it stands they are good songwriters, good musicians and possess more than many that command a bigger following and the best band yet to have come from the Avenue Of Allies roster.

One to check out.

Rating – 84%