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by Joe Mis

 

Dreams of the Heart is the third release from melodic rock act D’Ercole, and it certainly is a solid one. Never one to be caught resting on his laurels, Phil Vincent continues to produce solid music – this time in conjunction with guitarist Damian D’Ercole, bassist William Arnold, and drummer Tane DeAngelis (plus the occasional lead guitar assist from Vince O’Regan). D’Ercole’s music shows flashes of 80’s rock influence, but has a more modern sound – but like in all of Vincent’s projects, melody reigns supreme.

Damian D’Ercole handles the rhythm guitar, laying down some big riffs and catchy hooks – carrying much of the musical weight on his capable shoulders. Phil Vincent contributes vocals, keyboards, and a bit of rhythm guitar and drums. He also handled the production and engineering, as well as co-writing all the songs with D’Ercole and bassist William Arnold. Arnold’s bass is a good one, and his musical sense is excellent. He teams well with drummer Tane DeAngelis and the two make a very capable and enthusiastic rhythm section whether dishing out slow and mellow lines or manic double-bass driven riffs. Influences of the greats are occasionally obvious – Winger, Foreigner, Dokken, and maybe a hint of Bon Jovi – but the band’s music in never derivative, and they take the old school sounds and modernize them neatly. A mix of hard rock, ballads and melodic metal peppered with some keys make for an enjoyable and musically diverse release.
Light keys leading into a simple but effective guitar riff open the up-tempo rocker “Only Child.” This track features some nicely done vocal harmonies and feels a bit like Dokken meets The Beatles – only with a truly blistering guitar solo. Big bass and pounding drums drive the very modern (almost pop-metal) “Givin’ It All To You.” The complex bottom end contrasts nicely with the simple and effective guitar hooks and keys creating a unique sound. “Dreams Of The Heart” is a melodic metal masterpiece that has the band firing on all cylinders. Solid guitars, great drums, driving bass, and strong vocals make this one truly memorable. “I’ll Be There For You” is another AOR radio-friendly mid-tempo rocker with strong lyrics and good performances from all – and the outro is pure metal. “She Ain’t No Good” is a hard rock monster – intense guitars and effective double bass drumming rule the track.
“You Keep Me Waiting” has a great rolling rhythm line produced by light keys and a fluid bass, and features an amazing blues based guitar solo. Gritty hard rock returns with the very 80s style “Too Little Too Late” – some amazing shredding here. “Lies” has a little Euro-metal tone thanks to gritty passages mixed with a soaring chorus and slick, lively guitars. “A Million Miles” starts with a brooding, dark tone generated by a slow rhythm line and subdued vocals and keyboards, but then it explodes at the end thanks to the shredding skills of D’Ercole and O’Regan. Heavy keyboards and multi-layered vocals give “Hurt Me For The Last Time” a European feel, while “Wearin’ Me Down” is a guitar-driven hard rock dream.
D’Ercole’s Dreams Of The Heart has something for everyone, whether you fancy modern melodic metal or ‘80s/’90s hard rock. Well written songs and spirited delivery are the hallmarks of D’Ercole’s music, and this release certainly lives up to them. The band handles the mix of styles well – but no matter the style or influence, the underlying sense of melody is always strong. In this case familiarity breeds success, and the melding of old school hard rock with modern touches simply works. There are truly only positives here, so this release is highly recommended.
 
Genre: Melodic Hard Rock
 
Band:
Damian D’Ercole (rhythm guitar)
Phil Vincent (vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards, drums)
William Arnold (bass)
Tane DeAngelis (drums)
Vince O’Regan (lead guitar)
 
Track Listing:
1. Only Child
2. Givin’ It All To You
3. Dreams of the Heart
4. I’ll Be There for You
5. She Ain’t No Good
6. You Keep Me Waiting
7. Too Little Too Late
8. Lies
9. A Million Miles
10. Hurt Me for the Last Time
11. Wearin’ Me Down
 
Label: Phil Vincent Music
 
Hardrock Haven rating: 8.5 / 10

tragik - hungerHunger is the fourth and latest from Tragik, a trio fronted multi-talented musician and songwriter Phil Vincent. Based in Rhode Island, Tragik puts out intense melodic rock clearly influenced by some of the greatest metal acts of all time. Hunger is modern rock with a bit of the ‘80s mixed in, along with a dash of commercial metal, and just a bit of progressive rock.

Phil Vincent, the multi-instrumentalist, singer, producer and songwriter stands at the front of Tragik, handling lead vocals, keys, bass, and some guitars. His musical range allows the band to move from one style to another without any obvious hiccups or weak spots. Unlike other bands led by such a talent, Vincent does not allow himself to dominate the album. Damian D’Ercole plays most guitars, while Dirk Phillips handles the sticks quite capably. Guest musicians Vince O’Regan, David Zychek and Billy Roux contribute guitar solos and lead breaks. Phil has a good voice for rock – clear, smooth, and expressive. His overall vocal style was probably most influenced by Kip Winger and Don Dokken – and he fills those shoes well. He also produced and engineered Hunger, and did it without overemphasizing his own musical contributions to the CD allowing the talents of his band mates to shine. Damian D’Ercole plays a great rhythm guitar, laying down strong hooks and setting the mood for the songs nicely. He works well with Vincent’s keyboarding. Phillips is a solid rock drummer, doing exactly what is needed at the proper times without going over the top.
“Giving Up” kicks off on a high – great bass, driving drums, a great guitar line and a blistering full-on metal guitar solo. This is a song that epitomizes the music of Tragik – an old school sound with tons of modern flourishes. Keyboards and a near dance beat make “Don’t Say A Word” a radio-friendly rocker with a huge sweeping chorus and strong positive lyrics. “Look At Yourself” opens with some strong keys and a keeps a bit of a prog rock feel throughout, featuring neatly layered vocal harmonies at the chorus. “Eye In The Sky” is a 12 minute epic prog rocker that splits into three segments. The first is a mid-tempo keyboard rich section with some spiraling guitar fireworks, the second an up-tempo commercial rock chunk with a slick chugging guitar line and superb drums, and the third is a more blues rock segment with some Beatles influence – it has it all.
“I Will Remember” is a Dokken / Foreigner style rocker with strong bass work, good vocals and a slick rhythm line, and an explosive guitar solo. “For You” is a simple Bon Jovi-ish mid-tempo acoustic rocker with simple rhythms and heartfelt lyrics. “No Tomorrow” is another upbeat 80s style rocker, allowing Phil to show off his keyboard chops, and highlighting Dirk’s drumming ability. The smoky and heavy “This Is How It Has To Be” shows Phil’s vocals at their best, and the bluesy guitar solo by Vince O’Regan is nothing short of jaw dropping. The album wraps with “’Til the End of Time,” a simple mostly acoustic tune with a nice guitar solo and some light keyboard backing – think Extreme meets Boston and Bon Jovi…
All in all, Hunger is a very good album. Almost every fan of modern melodic rock will enjoy this, and any fan of the great band from the 1980s will find much to appreciate. Never harsh or discordant, Tragik proves that you can make modern rock without ripping off the greats that came before. Hunger is varied and unpretentious rock performed with lots of enthusiasm and a true love of the genre. With elements and influences culled from the past 4 decades, Phil and the boys have created another CD that fires on all cylinders.
Highly recommended.
 
By Joe Mis. Read the full article here.

 

'Hunger' is the fourth studio album for Melodic Hard Rockers Tragik.  Who are Tragik?  Well I’ll tell you.  They are Phil Vincent, Damian D’Ercole and Dirk Phillips, with guest appearances on the guitar front from Vince O’Regan, David Zychek and William Roux.
The album is straight up Hard Rock, built on a solid foundation of big riffs and towering drum a pumping bass line, with the icing on the cake being Vincent’s unmistakable vocals.
The album gets underway with ‘Giving Up’, a trailblazing opener that sets the bar for the rest of the album.  There is a maturity about this particular release, I think all parties have gelled well together on this album and this shown by the variety of the album.
This is felt with the second track ‘Don’t Say A Word’, as this one starts off with a little electro keyboards, you think you're in for a touch of 80’s pop rock, but then the track soon blows away that thought as the big licks come in courtesy of Mr O’Regan.
There’s a touch of old school with the storming ‘Look At Yourself’, before the 12 minute plus splendour of ‘Eye In The Sky’, a three part melodic roller coaster that will take you on the ride of your life, so much so, you’ll want another ticket to do it all over again.  This opus has more layers and elements than I can find superlatives for.  This is Melodic Rock at its modern best.
It's back to that 80’s felt Hard Rock with heavily influenced keyboard moments with ‘I Will Remember’, then it's time for a little unplugged moment with the excellent ‘For You’, before rocking things back up big style with ‘No Tomorrow’. 
Now it's time for Tragik to unleash the big bass lines and delve on the heavier path with one of my favourite tracks off the album ‘This Is How It Has To Be’, a real meat and bones rocker.  Sadly all good things must come to an end and the album closes off with a touch of the epic, with the haunting acoustic tones of the almost Beatlesque ‘Til The End Of Time’.
This is without a doubt the best Tragik album to date and shows how not only the band have developed, but it also shows that you can still be true to your roots but put enough modern spin on things to take this genre forward.  Come on, let's not only feel the 'Hunger' but let's taste it live!

Review by: Barry McMinn

Tracklisting:

1.  Giving Up
2. Don't Say A Word
3. Look At Yourself
4. Eye In The Sky
5. I Will Remember
6. For You
7. No Tomorrow
8. This Is How It Has To Be
9. Til The End Of Time