Probot Dimino - Old Habits Die Hard (Frontiers) 2015

1.      Never Again (5:00)
2.      Rockin in the City (3:49)
3.      I Can't Stop Loving You (4:19)
4.      The Rain's About to Fall (3:07)
5.      Even Now (5:59)
6.      Tears Will Fall (3:59)
7.      Mad as Hell (3:23)
8.      Sweet Sensation (4:41)
9.      Tonight's the Night (2:32)
10.      The Quest (3:20)
11.      Stones by the River (5:12)

Frank Dimino was the vocalist for legendary 1970's American pomp band Angel. They are to this day one of my favorites from that time period and I still listen to them regularly. Despite a 1999 release from Angel with mostly new members and Frank singing on a solo album by UFO guitarist/keyboardist Paul Raymond in 1998, no much has been heard from the legendary vocalist since the early 1980's. "Old Habit Die Hard" is the first solo album for Frank.

Dimino has brought in a lot of well-known musicians on this record including  Paul Crook (Anthrax, Meat Loaf), Oz Fox (Stryper), Eddie Ojeda (Twisted Sister), Danny Miranda, Pat Thrall (Pat Travers), Rickey Medlocke (Blackfoot, Lynyrd Skynyrd), Jeff Labansky, and former Angel bandmates Punky Meadows (on guitar) and Barry Brandt (co-writing with Frank the song Even Now). The lion's share of the guitar work seems to be split between Paul Crook and Oz Fox.

The music on "Old Habit Die Hard" doesn't sound anything like Angel. This is straight up melodic hard rock with a metallic edge and catchy songwriting. "Never Again" starts off the album and is a riff-driven hard rocker. Other tracks such as "Rockin' In The City", "The Quest", and "Mad As Hell" are equally as hard 'n' heavy. Musically these songs remind me of the classic, hard-driving sound of bands like UFO. The first and most immediately noticeable thing about this record is just how different Frank is singing from his helium high vocals in Angel. He still sounds great and there are moments when I can still hear the classic Angel sound in his vocals, such as in the melodic "I Can't Stop Loving You". However, here he is actually singing better than he ever has before. "Old Habits Die Hard" is a welcome return from a legendary vocalist. Here's hoping we don't have to wait decades for another release from Frank, or perhaps an Angel reunion. 

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