The good impression that Passion left upon first listen somewhat vanished after several spins. The first half of the album is the most enjoyable.
Written by: Dave T
ARTIST: Passion (UK)
SERIAL: FRCD 1006
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Lion Ravarez (aka Daniel Rossall) – vocals, all instruments
Additional Musicians: Chance Vanderlain – guitar, backing vocals * Weston James Jr. – bass, backing vocals * Bobby Laker – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Intensity * 02 Trespass On Love * 03 Too Bad For Baby * 04 Lost In The Dark * 05 Back * 06 Victims Of Desire * 07 We Do What We Want * 08 Built To Please * 09 She Bites Hard * 10 Big Game
A little bit of history. Daniel Rossall was the lead singer of London-based Hard Rock band Night By Night (led by Sisters Of Mercy guitarist Ben Christo) between 2011 and 2012. Rossall recorded vocals for what was supposed to be their first album in 2012, but was replaced that year by Henry Rundell whose vocals were used for the debut ‘NxN’, which finally got a release in 2014.
A guitarist, multi-instrumentalist and producer as well, Rossall released an instrumental guitar album, 2017’s ‘The Feel’. In 2019, he sent the demos he was working on to Frontiers, and the label signed him under the Passion moniker. On a side note, Rossall contributed four songs to the new Revolution Saints album ‘Rise’.
Recorded and produced by Lion Ravarez (the name Rossall adopted for Passion), the songs fit into the Melodic Hard Rock/Glam Metal category. Production is pristine, arguably too clean to some ears. As a singer, Ravarez sits somewhere between Ted Poley and Jean Beauvoir, at times sounding like Mark Slaughter also.
The album starts with a trio of good songs. The fiery headbanger ‘Intensity’ shocks with its frantic pace and it’s a re-writing of Dokken‘s ‘Kiss Of Death’, while the melodic midtempo ‘Trespass On Love’ harks back to early Danger Danger. The bombastic ‘Too Bad For Baby’ is good American-style hard rock, Sonic Boom era KISS springs to mind.
The midtempo ‘Lost In The Dark’ is modelled after Dokken‘s ‘In My Dreams’ but relies too much on a repeating a Capella chorus and the grating screeches don’t help either.
The shadows of Damn Yankees‘ ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ are all over ‘Back’, which delivers another good deal of gratuitous screams. ‘Victims Of Desire’ is a better song, with some chugging riffs that remind early 1980’s Accept midtempos while the pre-chorus evokes KISS‘ ‘When Your Walls Come Down’.
The last four songs also suffer from oversinging. The by the numbers hard rock of ‘We Do What We Want’ sounds rather pedestrian as does ‘Built To Please’, the latter with a few Aerosmith hints in the guitar riffs.
‘She Bites Hard’ immediately brings to mind the beginning chords of Keel‘s ‘Rock And Roll Animal’. However, it quickly turns into AC/DC territory but the (to these ears) clinical guitar sound and irritatingly high vocals prevented me from liking it. The album rounds out with the very Warrantish ‘Big Game’, that borrows the main riff from Frehley’s Comet ‘Stranger In A Strange Land’.
The good impression upon first listen somewhat vanished after several spins. The first half of this Passion album is the most enjoyable. However, Melodies and Hooks (both with capital letters) are somehow forced in many instances on this debut, as the vocal performance is as well.
The work of a fully integrated band, the expert ears of a producer and more personality (going the extra mile beyond the influences) might help in achieving better results for their next album. There’s enough raw material in Passion to expect good things in the future.
Trespass On Love
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