Sweet & Lynch Sweet & Lynch - Only To Rise (Frontiers Music.) 2015

1. The Wish (3:38)
2. Dying Rose (3:41)
3. Love Stays (4:34)
4. Time Will Tell (3:51)
5. Rescue Me (4:13)
6. Me Without You (4:02)
7. Recover (3:42)
8. Divine (4:18)
9. September (4:17)
10. Strength In Numbers (3:18)
11. Hero-Zero (4:11)
12. Only To Rise (3:43)

Sweet & Lynch is a project band of guitarist/vocalist Michael Sweet of Stryper and iconic guitarist George Lynch (Dokken/Lynch Mob) along with bassist James LoMenzo (Megadeth, White Lion, Black Label Society) and drummer Brian Tichy (ex-Whitesnake). According to the press release, “Sweet & Lynch was born as the brainchild of Serafino Perugino, President of Frontiers Music. He asked me to basically sing on this record and then I suggested producing it and co-wrote the songs with George,” recalls Sweet.

The album is exactly what anyone might hope for from these heavy metal vets. Coming at you straight out of the 80's, the sound is a mix of many flavors. I can hear bits of Stryper due to the vocals of Micheal Sweet, but you'll also hear other influences such as Van Halen, Journey and, of course, Dokken. This was obviously a match made in heaven. The album opens with a mid-tempo power jam titled "The Wish" in which Michael Sweet just tears up each and every line soaring over top of George Lynch's steady riffs. Follow-up song "Dying Rose" carries more of a Dokken/Lynch Mob sound than the high-soaring "The Wish". This is true of a few songs including "Rescue Me", despite the presence of Sweet's signature voice. "Recover" is one of the more up-beat songs driven by LoMenzo's bass and some high-pitched, falsetto screams on the lofting chorus. "Strength in Numbers" sounds like Stryper mixed with Kashimire-era Zeppelin.

Of course what would an album like this be without an obligatory power-ballad. "Love Stays" is that song, having a slightly more 1990's sound than much of the rest of this album. As well, "Me Without You" is a moody ballad sounding a bit like something The Scorpions might have recorded in the mid-to-late 80's. Sweet's vocals are outstanding on this song, and throughout. There is some fantastic vocal harmonies on this song that recall Stryper. Of course there is also Lynch's fiery axe-work peppered throughout this album.

Despite being just a studio project, as opposed to a real band, the Sweet & Lynch CD sounds like a real band. The combination of Sweet's soaring voice and Lynch's guitar riffs and gnarly tone simply work. The result is an album packed with memorable hooks, fabulous melodies and solid musicianship. Fans of Stryper, Lynch Mob and Dokken should take note of this one.

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