Riddlemaster - Bring The Magik Down,
Riddlemaster is the name of a new project by Mark “The Shark” Shelton and Rick Fisher. Mark is frontman and guitarist for Manilla Road, while Rick was drummer with that band from 1979 to 1984, and one day they were wondering what that band would sound like now if Rick had stayed. Taking the new band name from a song which appeared on 1983’s ‘Crystal Logic’, they brought in bassist E.C. Hellwell, and this is the result. I must confess to have never coming across Manilla Road prior to this, and it took internet sleuthing to get some of the information together, but if this is a fair representation of what that band have sounded like then perhaps it isn’t much of a surprise.
This is middle of the road heavy metal and classic rock, with little in the way to encourage people to seek out the album. The first song is fourteen minutes long, but it is actually a few songs thrown together with some linkages, and even before it had finished I was wondering how I was going to get to the end of the album. But I did, a few times, and must confess that when the band up to the energy levels on “Every Mother Son” then it does become interesting, and there is some good acoustic guitar and electric solos in this, but there just isn’t enough vitality and passion for this to be something to which I will ever want to return.