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TRACK LIST: 1. Breakout 7:19 2. Feel Like I'm Gone 8:17 3. You're Not Alone 5:21 4. From One Side To the Other 5:27 5. Loriann (inst.) 5:20 6. Only Human 5:20 7. The Clock Is Ticking 5:10 8. Into the Hands of Sinners 7:36 9. Invisible Man 3:35 10. Supreme Court Jester 5:47 11. The Road To Freedom 5:55 12. Lunatic Love 4:03 All tracks: by The Rick Ray Band, except 5 & 11: by Ray, 2 & 12: by Ray & Noch, 4: by Ray & Schultz, & 7: by Ray & Wood. LINE-UP: Rick Ray - guitars; keyboards; (+ vocals - on 3, 4, & 10) Rick Schultz - wind instruments John Cek - drums (+ vocals - on 6) With: Phil Noch - vocals (on 1, 2, 7, 11, & 12) Gary Wood - vocals (on 8 & 9)
Prolusion. "Into the Hands of Sinners" is the first album by The Rick Ray Band, though Rick Ray has also about twelve albums released under his own name.
Synopsis. I didn't expect that the beginning of this 70-minute album would be so disappointing! I am still wondering why Rick (the band?) decided to open with a song, which, for the most part sounds not unlike Rock & Roll from "Led Zeppelin III" and put a ballad straight after it, especially since it isn't free from influences, too (which concerns Ozzy this time). Fortunately, all of the further contents of the album are completely original and are for the most part just great. Both of the other ballad-like songs here: From One Side To the Other and The Clock Is Ticking (4 & 7) feature lengthy instrumental parts with excellent solos of guitars and reeds. However, there are too little changes of tempo (to say the least), which makes them sound a bit monotonous. Each of the remaining seven songs on the album: 3, 6, 8, 11, 12, 9, & 10 (see track list above) are great and feature a few of the lengthy and highly diverse jams that all of the band's instrumentalists are involved in. All of these songs are about a real Progressive Hard Rock with elements of Art-Rock and Jazz-Fusion, though both of the latter of them contain also those of classic Rock 'n' Roll. The only instrumental piece on the album: Loriann (5), performed by Rick Ray alone, represents the constantly developing and, at the same time, very beautiful interplay between passages and solos of two acoustic guitars and passages of synthesizer.
Conclusion. In all, "Into the Hands of Sinners" is undoubtedly the best album in Rick Ray's long musical career, and I'll be always listening to it with pleasure. First however, I'll have to cast the first two tracks 'into the hands of sinners':
VM: May 16, 2003
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