All Access Rating: A-
|Revolution Saints - S/T 2015|
Playing matchmaker again, Frontiers Records President Serafino Perugino sought to find an appropriate vehicle for Castronovo to display his talents as a lead vocalist, ultimately surrounding him with former Whitesnake guitarist Doug Aldrich and Night Ranger bassist/vocalist Jack Blades in a trio called Revolution Saints.
With a slight rasp in his powerful throat, Castronovo is a poor man's Steve Perry, his soaring, expressive vocals carrying the band's uplifting motivational messages and yearning romanticism skyward. Revolution Saints is the album Journey fans have been waiting for since Escape, its bold, high-energy rushes of melodic hard rock as infectious and galvanizing as its power ballads are heartfelt and impassioned.
Tightly constructed, with generous hooks and big choruses planted throughout fertile ground, "Back On My Trail," "Turn Back Time" and "Dream On" are bright, punchy pieces of guitar-driven pop-rock, the kind that would have been surefire hits back in the '80s. So would the softer stuff, like "Don't Walk Away," "Way to the Sun" – with Neal Schon helping out on guitar – and "You're Not Alone," featuring some backup vocals from Arnel Pineda. Here, gentle piano and acoustic guitar intros lead into big, sweeping, slow-moving waves of guitars and yearning emotions, eventually yielding once again to dramatic, tension-building rockers like "Strangers to the World" and "Better World" reminiscent of Survivor.
Some might take Revolution Saints to task for its formulaic songwriting, predictability and saccharine, banal sentimentality, but to do so would needlessly throw a dark cloud over something that exudes a great deal of light and would undoubtedly resonate with the masses if this was a different, less cynical age. Aldrich's guitar solos are fiery, compelling and a good fit for the songs. There is unabashed joy and exuberance coursing through its veins, they know what their audience wants, it's not arty for the sake of being arty and Castronovo rises to the challenge, smartly avoiding tricks and modulations and just letting his natural ability shine through. People get ready, these Saints are marching in.
– Peter Lindblad