2018 Reviews

Published on July 31st, 2018 | by Justin G.

Big City: Big City Life (Rock of Angels)

Norwegian melodic hard rockers Big City kind of slipped under the radar when they released their debut album Wintersleep back in 2014 (it didn’t even get a CD release). They’re back with a follow-up, titled Big City Life, and it’s definitely worth taking note of. For one thing, Big City is a “new” band made up of veteran talent, including vocalist Jan Le Brandt (Memoria Avenue), guitarists Daniel Olaisen (Blood Red Throne, ex-Satyricon) and Frank Orland (ex-Scariot), and Withem rhythm section Miguel Pereira and Frank Nordeng Roe.

I don’t know why it is that heavy metal musicians inevitably make the best melodic rock albums, but that trend holds true here. Sure, Big City is much heavier than the average AOR band, but their sound is still solidly in the melodic rock genre. Think Praying Mantis and Saffire. Le Brandt has a big, steady voice, and the vocal harmonies the rest of the band brings in just makes it that much more memorable. And the melodies are almost prog metal worthy at times. It’s just a really effective combination of melody and heaviness.

Big City Life is a really enjoyable melodic hard rock album. “Crying in the Night,” “Running For Your Life” and “Tower of Babylon” are a few standouts, but there really isn’t a song on the album that you’ll want to skip. The Frontiers label roster may get all the attention, but Big City Life is one of those albums that remind you that the smaller labels are where the real gems are. If you like your melodic rock on the heavy side, especially bands like Praying Mantis, Saffire, Crystal Ball and The Ferrymen, don’t let Big City pass you by (again).

Edition Notes: Not only is Big City Life available on CD, but it also comes with the band’s debut album as a bonus second disc. That’s two great melodic hard rock albums in one package.

Big City: Big City Life (Rock of Angels) Justin G.
Album Rating

Summary: Melodic rock with plenty of punch


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