Metal Hammer (UK) - - Reviews - MATT MILLS

Year Of The Tiger

NA­PALM Al­ter Bridge singer trades hard-rock­ing an­thems for acous­tic bal­lads Be­fore the lis­tener

even presses Play, it’s clear that Year Of The Tiger is a per­sonal ven­ture for hard rock maven Myles Kennedy. With its ti­tle ded­i­cated to the Chi­nese zo­diac of 1974 – the year that Myles would lose his fa­ther to ill­ness – the front­man’s solo de­but is a slice of acous­tic Amer­i­cana fu­elled by Led Zep­pelin III-like blues and lin­ger­ing lamen­ta­tions. Year Of

The Tiger’s open­ing ti­tle track is un­abashed in show­ing off the al­bum’s folk­ish in­cli­na­tions, be­gin­ning with a sole res­onator guitar that quickly gives way to raspy vo­cals. The Great Be­yond is a more grandiose af­fair, rife with wails that echo the late Chris Cor­nell, be­fore the quicker Devil On The Wall packs the slick string­work of a Chuck Berry cut. Ghost Of Shangri La en­chants with high-fly­ing verse melodies, set­ting up the steadily build­ing, old-school rock’n’roll of Haunted By De­sign. If any en­try in this cav­al­cade of coun­try is go­ing to win over fans of Myles’s heavy­hit­ting work with Slash and Al­ter Bridge, it’s def­i­nitely this mid­point high­light.

While the abrupt start to Mother and the cli­mac­tic re­frain of Noth­ing But A Name ea­gerly con­tinue Year Of The Tiger’s more en­er­getic tan­gent, the al­bum’s fi­nal mo­ments then see it re­turn to its un­de­ni­ably Amer­i­can style, en­sured by the slow emo­tion of Love

Can Only Heal. One Fine Day makes for a som­bre yet apt clos­ing suite, ce­ment­ing Year Of The Tiger’s sta­tus as an ex­trav­a­ganza of US proto-rock that throws a plethora of 50s and 60s in­spi­ra­tions into its enor­mous caul­dron. And while metal’s most purist fans may not be wholly en­am­oured with it, Myles Kennedy’s first solo of­fer­ing is a mas­ter­ful ex­er­cise in soul­ful beauty.


Myles Kennedy finds a new power source

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