WICKED SENSATION – Adrenaline Rush
The fourth album from German melodic hard rock act Wicked Sensation has an interesting twist – due to personal health struggles, normal vocalist Robert Soeterboek had to step down from singing and in his place seasoned singer David Reece (ex-Accept, Bangaloir Choir) came in. "Adrenaline Rush" contains 11 songs of driving material, straddling the line between hard rock and metal but very addictive and professionally delivered.
Be it more Masterplan sounding on the title cut, the semi-bluesy swagger in line of 80’s era Whitesnake for "Misery" or giving us hints of latter day Ratt and Extreme for the funky "Same Old Situation", guitarist / main songwriter Michael Klein upped his game in terms of developing original arrangements that emphasize individual hooks which makes for more memorable material. David Reece excels once again as his booming range and feel gain center stage on the throwback "Leave Me Like a Fool", further emphasized through a guest keyboard spot from Eric Ragno. Bassist Martin Mannhardt and drummer Dirk Bruinenberg are an important asset to the diversity of songwriting – able to sit in a pocket on a more commercial oriented offering such as "Blue Painted Sky" and be a little bit more dramatic if necessary on the Savatage-esque "No More Lies" (featuring fiery leads from Michael and fellow guitarist Sang Vong).
Closing the album on an acoustic ballad note, "This Time" may be softer than the earlier cuts but do not mistake tenderness for a weak performance, as there is some exciting instrumental breaks proving the members of Wicked Sensation can display chops acoustically too. Four years beyond their last album "Crystalized" that made a great impression on me, "Adrenaline Rush" is another record that illustrates why European bands are at the top in this genre. Find talent, put the players in the right positions, and just write kick ass material and everything will take care of itself. The listeners win again.