'ONLY to Rise' is the new album from ex Stryper vocalist Michael Sweet and former Dokken/Lynch Mob guitarist George Lynch. Featuring the powerhouse rhythm section of James Lomenzo (Megadeth) and Brian Tichy (Whitesnake) this album promised much and delivered on that promise.

All under the rather predictable
moniker of Sweet & Lynch.

In a press release Sweet declared that this album would feature flavours of Journey, Bad Company, Dokken, Stryper and Van Halen and all are clearly evident (they even throw in a bit of Iron Maiden)

Starting with a mid tempo rocker, "The Wish", followed quickly by the bluesy "Dying Rose" the above statement is already justified and continues throughout the album.

Tracks such as "Time will Tell" and album closer "Only to Rise" have that 80’s style influence whilst tracks "Rescue Me" and "Strength in Numbers" have that bluesy vibe to them.

There are a number of stand out songs on this album but I think "Me, Without you" and "September" will prove universally to be the favourites.

The former is a powerful ballad with soulful vocals from Sweet with a well written and perfectly fitting solo from Lynch. This song could well go on to be their classic song and I can see it being extended live to give it anthemic status.

The latter song, 'September', starts with an Iron Maiden riff reminiscent of Wasted Years before changing direction and becoming an emotional tribute to the events of 9/11.

Having said that I think my favourite track, at time of writing , is the other power ballad "Love Stays". A heavier than usual ballad where Sweets vocals drip with emotion and Lynch delivers one of my favourite solo’s on the album.

The band also get to flex their muscles on the out and out rocker "Recover" where Lynch lets rip on the solo.

Listening to the album you will find that the vocals and background vocals are of a very high quality and Lynch’s guitar work is excellent again. But I think the best aspect of the album is the Loremzo/Tichy combination. They are superb throughout and really give the album its drive and groove.

As a footnote "Only to Rise" is the first album featured on the "NI Rocks recommends" feature for NI Rock Radio in 2015 so we both can’t be wrong, right??

This album gets a solid 8.5/10 rating from me and should be in most rockers’ collection.

Review by Andy Gillen

Authors: Jonny

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