August 10, 2022

Cleanbreak – Coming Home

Published by: Frontiers Records

Release date: July 8, 2022

Genre: Melodic Hard Rock/Metal

Connections: https://www.facebook.com/CleanbreakMetal/

Line up:

James Durbin – vocals
Mike Flyntz – Guitar
Perry Richardson – Bass
Robert Sweet – Drums

List of tracks:

Go home
before the fall
endangered breed
We are the warriors
dream forever
Older Soul Man
Keep on fighting
The pain of goodbye
Cleanbreak
End my way
No other heart

This new project with the former singer of Quiet Riot, James Durbin, somewhat surprised our listeners. I’m not saying I was shocked by his vocal range, as many in the business know the kid has talent, but the overall sound here is sharper and harsher than I expected from a version of Frontier. I guess it helps to have Riot V’s Mike Flyntz and the rhythm section of bassist Perry Richardson and drummer Robert Sweet, both of Stryper. Yes, you have a few melodica styles sprinkled in here and there, but the overall product is deafening and crisper, and to be honest; that’s not a bad thing.

It was a little strange when Durbin abruptly left Quiet Riot a few years ago, but as mentioned at the time, business is business and it never quite worked out. This new project is a nice change of pace for a very capable leader.

The opening “Coming Home” has a nice kicker and Durbin carries a great melodic chorus to kick things off. Another standout track is “Dying Breed”, one of the hardest on the record, this one packs a punch right in the gut. Super melodic and with Durbin’s vocal range in full effect, oh and by the way the drums are majestic by Mr. Robert Sweet. It’s worth noting the ax work of Riot V (Riot) shredder Mike Flyntz. If the vision of the record was to inspire and pay homage to the traditional American heavy metal sound, then Flyntz is for you. Riot are one of the most underrated metal bands of all time.

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The rocking trip continues with “The Man of Older Soul,” which features super melodic guitar solos from Flyntz, and Durbin keeps his vocal romp in full glory. The rhythm and bass here are also splendid. With a more powerful metal-esque sound in “Still Fighting”, the tempo is pushed to the limit as all the guys come together to blow this song out of the water. I have to admit it’s different to hear James Durbin in this style, but honestly the transition works really well, it almost reminds me of the hints of progressive metal with power metal madness and up-tempo. This song rocks and sounds like Dragonforce on steroids. The momentum continues in “The Pain of Goodbye,” which features bombastic melodic choruses, a vastly underrated track on the record. Durbin is spitting fire again here. Not digging into the vocal tension that Durbin throws here in the eponymous song, I get what he was aiming for, but doesn’t seem to come across well, kinda forced. One of the miners complains about an otherwise excellent album.

Similar to the Iconic supergroup release, we’ve already discussed how Frontiers pulls those lineups together, does some really great albums, and then we don’t have a lot of touring or in some cases that’s a thing unique. Too bad to some extent that they don’t seem to last long, but as stated before; the fact that we hear so much great music in so many different configurations and styles from so many talented musicians is a testament to what they are trying to do. Cleanbreak is yet another example of a talented young vocalist setting up with metal veterans of the season, putting together a nice heavier and more oriented record and melting into influenced metal for sure. I think fans of metal and good rock will find something to invest in here. I hope they can do a second follow up. One thing is certain, James Durbin is a talented person and we look forward to hearing more material in this vein from him in the future. Flip it!!!

Written by: shadow editor

Rating 8/10

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