D’ERCOLE may be a new band but it features a couple members who should be somewhat familiar with the melodic rock community. Vocalist Phil Vincent has independently released no less than twelve solo CD’s to date and has been involved in a couple other band projects over the years (namely TRAGIK). Guitarist Damian D’Ercole has appeared alongside Vincent in TRAGIK and they have released three records to date. No doubt these guys (especially Vincent) are prolific but now they have set their sights on a new project and that brings us to “The Art of Self Destruction” on Z Rock Records out of the England.
The album opens with “Desperate” and you will immediately get a taste of classic DOKKEN as Vincent seems something of a dead-ringer for Don Dokken himself. Musically, D’ERCOLE brings a classy hard rock sound to the table but I’d like to hear a bit more of a “chunkier” sound as the production seems just a bit thin and I’m not sure I agree with the snare drum sound on the record as it gives it something of a “grungy” feel to the proceedings.
“The Last Time” strays a bit from the DOKKEN-esque sound and brings a bit more of modern vibe mixed with some classic rock moments. The same goes for “Face To Face” but D’ERCOLE does seem to have a knack for coming up with a decent guitar riff though. “Nothin’ To Me” introduces some underlying keyboard sounds along with a cool riff and some nice guitar playing from D’ERCOLE.
“I Won’t Be Denied” is a cool track with edgy attitude and ripping guitars. Along with the previous track and the album opening “Desperate” you get three of the stronger tracks on offer from “The Art of Self Destruction”. “Destiny” is a decent mid-paced track with a melodic rock chorus and when coupled with Vincent’s vocals you get sort of a DOKKEN meets AOR vibe.
“Don’t Wanna Be Like You” turns the heavier, attitude-riddled vibe back up notch as you get a straight ahead full-on rocker. More of the DOKKEN sound comes to mind again but the one thing I feel hurts the tune is that pesky snare drum sound. “Gone But Not Forgotten” offers up a more melodic approach than the previous track but still maintains a rocking edge and features a good use of keys in the mix.
An album highlight is to be had on “It’s A Lie”. The tune starts out with a decent little riff and proceeds to turn into a great rocker accentuated with some really cool guitar pyrotechnics from D’ERCOLE.
“The Art of Self Destruction” closes out with another highlight on “The Deluge”. You get some nice keyboard sounds with an impressive vocal performance from Vincent. It may be his best of the record.
All in all “The Art of Self Destruction” by D’ERCOLE is pretty decent debut with several classy melodic rockers and just a few misses along the way. If they could turn the production up a notch next time around they might have something here.