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A Little Bitter � New Dawn Evolution (EPB's cd review)


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Irelands finest power trio return to the fold with the aptly titled "New Dawn Evolution", the follow-up release to 2006 debut album "The Blood". Whilst opening track "Battlesong" sounds as if it were written for the aforementioned debut album thus sounding instantly familiar and "vintage ALB" the progressive "Dark Tide" shows the evolution that the band has undergone : still angry-sounding and fast paced, the song features a galloping instrumental section somewhat reminiscent of early Iron Maiden, yet entirely fresh and ALB-sounding. And it doesn't end there, because every song on "New Dawn Evolution" contains moments where the band goes off in directions you would never have suspected, and manage to pull it off each and every time.


Obviously, with such an evolution in the bands sound, the musicians themselves have grown immensely as well. Seamy Donnelly still displays his monster chops on 6-string bass, but more so than on the debut album he knows when to hold back and ride the root, and when to break out and burst loose with busy, intricate, counter-melodic bass lines. New drummer Darren Pilkington makes us almost forget what an incredible powerhouse his predecessor Anthony Cambell was, and bangs the drums as if hes been in ALB his entire life. The biggest and most pleasant surprise of this album, however, is Johnny Armstrong. With every note he sings, you can feel the despair, the anger and the hope. When in "Shake" Johnny sings the line "... this is killing me" he succeeds where other, lesser vocalists would undoubtedly fail: you can not help but sympathise with him, because he truly makes you believe every single word. With such an impressive performance on the vocal front, one would almost forget that all the guitar riffs and solos are also handled by this man. Again he delivers, and how.


"New Dawn Evolution" shows a heavier and more progressive side of A Little Bitter, whilst at the same time staying true to their original sound. An impressive sophomore release from a band that had already delivered one of the most impressive debut albums ever. Do yourselves a favour and check out this band.


"I'm a work in progress." Micky Barnes


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