Sunbomb – “Evil And Divine” (Frontiers Music)
Battle Helm Rating
A heavy metal project featuring Tracii Guns (L.A. Guns) and Michael Sweet (Stryper), Sunbomb plays to the heavier side of both musicians, with the former’s influences by Black Sabbath and Judas Priest now released, while the latter has been writing heavier and heavier material as evidenced by recent Stryper albums. Joined by Tracii’s old L.A. Guns bandmate Adam Hamilton on drums and current L.A. Guns bassist Johnny Martin guesting on one track, with the remainder of the bass lines handled by L.A. Guns songwriter / producer Mitch Davis, they have together produced one metal for muthas album! Opening with overt black metal scaling on ‘Life’, Sweet power screams in and keeps it soaring at the high end as the dark melodies flow and the kick drums piston in before Guns unloads a wild ‘n’ wailing pure heavy metal solo – wow!! Taking a nod from Ian Gillan and Tony Iommi on “Born Again”, the slow doom reverb provides Sweet’s larynx an ample opportunity to show its tremendous power, both in its dark soul and air raid screaming on ‘Take Me Away’ before the riffs chug away, while the lighter touch metal solo still works, even in contrast to the smog of Guns and Sweet. Impressively blending doom with hard rock on ‘Stronger Than Before’, the riffs roll in as Sweet swankily croons along before the down tuned reverb hits and the famed singer screams like Messiah Marcolin (Candlemass) and Eric Wagner (Trouble), joined by Guns solo in a jaw dropping performance really attesting to the talent of these two seasoned musicians. With raw power riffing, metallic scaling and high end harmonies, ‘They Fought’ gallops in with almost NWOBHM style complete with pumping basslines, while the charismatic vocals of Sweet add in all the drama and passion through his truly blessed vocal cords. With scarce regard for convention, Tracii Guns and Michael Sweet have brought us heaven and hell on the 11 tracks making up this courageous groundbreaking debut!