TOBY HITCHCOCK – Reckoning
The skilled Toby Hitchcock (Pride of Lions) recently released this 11-track album of his via Frontiers Records, and as it turns out, "Reckoning" is very much in the vein of Pride of Lion’s superb 2017 record entitled "Fearless". With Hitchcock’s strong and powerful vocals way up front in the mix, the instantly catchy tunes incorporate all the traits and elements from AOR, melodic rock, and hard rock that you can think of to great effect. Big riffs and even bigger choruses with rather prominent keyboards and a somewhat polished and slick feel to them are what this album is all about.
There is not a shred of originality to this one, but "Reckoning" is nevertheless a cohesive and pleasant listening experience where Toby’s powerful voice binds it all together despite the fact that the song material was written by various different musicians. The lyrics are awfully cliched, but they do have a pretty uplifting vibe to them and I simply cannot deny the fact that I fucking love the muscular "Behind the Lies "with its infectious melodies and great drive, and there are plenty of other cool moments to be found on the record too (especially "No Surrender" and "Don’t Leave"), so give it a shot at some point. As indicated earlier on, Hitchcock’s stellar vocals are essentially what provides the album with identity and color, and "Reckoning" is a solid offering all around, but it will not set the world on fire.