SPEKTRA – Oveload
Spektra is a brand-new outfit hailing from Brazil and "Overload", which was produced by the skilled combo of Alessandro del Vecchio (who seems to appear on nearly every Frontiers release these days!) and Jeff Scott Soto, is the group’s debut offering. Actually, Del Vecchio and Soto have either written or co-written all eleven tracks that are on display here, and in terms of style and sound, Spektra are not that far removed from many of Soto’s own bands and projects, which means that well-produced hard rock is the order of the day here.
Things are off to a good start with the energetic title track and there are some melodically interesting and powerful tunes to be found in the shape of "Back Into Light", "Forsaken", and "Don’t Matter". The latter would not have sounded entirely out of place on a latter-day Whitesnake record due to its semi-bluesy riffs and somewhat subtle melancholy vibe whereas "Back Into Light" has an atmosphere that reminds me of Journey, which is pretty cool. It is not that the disc lacks any punch or that the musicianship leaves anything to be desired (and that definitely pertains to the strong vocals), because all is well with respect to those two things, but roughly half the compositions are neither riveting affairs nor particularly memorable cuts. Where is the charm and charisma? Where exactly is the musical identity or the ability to surprise the listener? If you are a die-hard fan of the Frontiers catalogue of hard rock/melodic hard rock/AOR releases then "Overload" might be worth checking out, but to these ears it is simply too uneven and unremarkable to stand out or warrant repeated listens.