Saturday, 16 August 2014

FAHRAN - Chasing Hours (2014)

Genre - Hard Rock / Heavy Metal
Label - Self Released

Track listing:
01 - Long Gone
02 - Take This City Alive
03 - A Thousand Nights
04 - I Heard A Joke Once
05 - Chasing Hours
06 - Cased In Steel
07 - You Could Be Mine
08 - Some Kind Of Family
09 - Are We Free
10 - Back To Me
11 - Prison
12 - Black Mirror
13 - Storms We Ride

FAHRAN were formed in Breaston, England, back in 2012 from the ashes of Toxic Federation. "Chasing Hours" is the band’s second release following on from their self-titled debut album and it sees the debut of new vocalist Matt Black and bassist Josh Ballantyne.
Reading the band’s bio it states that Fahran’s sound is like a combination of older stalwarts like Queen and Iron Maiden melded with modern rock akin Shinedown, Black Stone Cherry, etc. This is true perhaps on some guitar riffs, but Farham, thankfully, has a more classic hard rock foundation than I expected.
On listening to the first track "Long Gone", several things become clear: the band are as tight as a duck’s rear end, for a self-produced album both production and final mix are spot on, oh, and the band kick some serious ass.
The song starts with an almost early '90s Bon Jovi intro before you are hit in the face by a monster of a riff that makes you sit up and take notice. It is a strong constant throughout this album.
New singer Matt Black has a soulful voice which suits the music really well and over the 13 tracks included on the CD the musicianship is top notch. The double guitar work of Jake Graham and Chris Byrne (who incidentally produced the album) is excellent, this is where the Maiden influence is at its clearest.
Highlights are plentiful throughout the record with tracks like "Take This City Alive" and "I Heard A Joke Once" which are short, sharp rockers rubbing shoulders with "Prison" and "Back To Me" which are well constructed heavy numbers.
"A Thousand Nights" is a kick ass classic rock stormer: it sounds huge and it's blessed with strong lead vocals. On title track "Chasing Hours" the band show they are more than a one trick pony as they deliver something altogether much more soulful that is drenched in emotion.
Also different cuts are "Black Mirror" which starts with a bit of quiet bass noodling before running full pelt to the finale, and the rocking ballad "Storms We Ride" with great drumming from JR Windsor.
Why Fahran aren't yet signed to a label is beyond me. They have the songs and the talent to be the next big thing given the chance and the right opportunities.
All members - five young guys - are really good musicians. In my opinion they are wise beyond their age and definitely born a couple decades too late, because "Chasing Hours" at times have that '80s / '90s feel.
More than one track here would make a great backing to a montage scene on Rocky IV or Karate Kid 2, with a modern sound, yes, but the skeleton of the songs have that 'smell'. You know what I mean. Some songs as well bring to mind American melodic hard rockers Waltham.
The production on "Chasing Hours" is nothing sort of outstanding, it sounds absolutely massive, as an album like this needs and deserves.

Very Highly Recommended

Rating - 10/10

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