Radiance: Are The Dead Daisies Back on Track?

Hard rock supergroup and David Lowy pet project The Dead Daises are set to release their sixth studio album this Friday. I’ve been a fan of the band since the start, through all of its various incarnations. However, having said that, not the biggest Glenn Hughes fan. While I did enjoy Holy Ground, I believe the band peaked in 2018 when Marco Mendoza and John Corabi were around for Burn it Down. However, it is still a band of four immensely talented individuals, so I am excited and more than ready to eat my words during this review. Let’s get it!

I have to admit, opening track ‘Face Your Fear’ doesn’t do much for me. I liked the ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’/Tom Morello guitar effect to open it and the main riff that kicks in is also pretty fun. However, I just don’t think Glenn’s vocals have enough swagger and attitude to match the riffs. However, when his vocals sore a little more in the chorus it’s a little more fun. It’s catchy and almost gives off Velvet Revolver vibes.

And of curse Doug Aldrich pulls off a fantastic guitar solo in the middle, something I’ sure you’ll be reading about a lot during this review. Glenn’s vocal runs during the final chorus were fun too, though I feel like the backing vocals repeating the song title could have been a bit louder and more prevalent in the mix. There’s a lot going on in the track butt it might have added even more to the epicness. Not a bad way to start an album, but it could have been a tad stronger for me.

Check out our review of former Daisies bassist Marco Mendoza’s new solo album here.

The blues riff that opens ‘Hypnotize Yourself’ is another fun one. It dropping down during the verses is a fun, the slow drums and clean chords matching well to Glenn’s lower range. It almost has a country feel to it. Then, it explodes into a HUGE chorus over the big riff, Glenn pushing his vocals harder and higher. It pays off massively with a really good, catchy chorus. It slows up heading into the solo, again giving off major Slash vibes. Especially as it builds up again into the second half of the fantastic solo. Doug is such a criminally underrated player, it’s insane. This track won me over a lot more than the opener, and definitely makes the playlist. Good stuff!

‘Shine On’ opens on a pretty heavy riff, reminding me a lot of Burn it Down. Glenn’s voice even fits surprisingly well over the top, it giving off heavier Deep Purple vibes. The chorus is even heavier as well and hugely catchy, it definitely walking the line of hard rock and light metal. It’s heavy, sleazy, and honestly is probably closest to the latest Inglorious album than anything else. Aldrich rips my favourite solo of the album on this track too, it’s something to behold even if you’re not a musician. This track is a real turning point for me with the band featuring Glenn, as I believe it’s the best sound they’ve had as a collective since he joined. Playlisted!

The album’s title track is a heavy starter too, and heads quickly into a sludgy, almost biker metal verse. The track stays pretty steady and plodding throughout, in fact. The chorus is huge and aided massively with the backing vocals while still being heavily slow. It’s another track that feels like the band picking up the best bits of where they left off with Corabi and Mendoza, and I’m loving it.

Because of the awesomeness of the last few tracks, songs like ‘Born to Fly’, ‘Courageous’ and ‘Not Human’ feels slightly average. None are bad songs by any stretch, don’t get me wrong. They’re simply either a little lighter than I’m enjoying from the band or, and it sounds so horrible so I’m sorry, a little too Glenn Hughes-y. I really don’t hate the guy, he’s been a part of some amazing tracks throughout his incredible career, but in case you haven’t guessed, Corabi is my guy. There’s some good stuff within each of the tracks, but there are definitely bigger highlights of the album.

Both ‘Kiss the Sun’ and ‘Cascade’, meanwhile, follow a similar sludgy, heavy as the other tracks I love. I don’t know whether the band have found their niche or whether I just prefer this style, you’ll have to let me know in the comments or on social media! But the main riffs for each track are sludgy awesomeness. Between the awesome riffing, more incredible solos from Doug and two of the best choruses on the album, these are two more huge highlights.

I didn’t even need to hear the closing track, ‘Roll On’, to know it’d be the ballad of the album. Not only had we not had a slow track yet, but it’s become such a predictable thing as a lot of modern bands are closing on their slow one over the last few years, for some reason. While the track is a good one, I don’t get this craze of ending the album with a whimper instead of a bang. This didn’t even have the epic feel to the ending that most manage to achieve, either. I’d have put this in the middle somewhere and had something like ‘Kiss the Sun’ to close on.

Overall: I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. I’d say it’s definitely an improvement on their last album and feels a little more focused and has some clearer direction to it. So, knowing my luck, Lowy will kick everyone out of his build-a-band in a years time and bring in someone like Sebastian Bach or Danny Bowes or something. But yeah, this is a damn good hard rock album. There are some amazing tracks on it and everyone does their job well, both from a musician and song writing perspective. I’m going to have to get tickets to their tour because I need to hear some of this live!

The Score: 8/10

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