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Journey: Eclipse

Journey Shines With Eclipse!

The Evolution of Journey continues with the release of the hard-rocking Eclipse in 2011. For fans of the band Raised on Radio in the 80's and 90's the 12-tracks on the much anticipated disc might represent a distinct Departure from their past form. But let's back up a bit first.

When beloved frontman Steve Perry left the band for good in the 90's the remaining group members faced a Trial By Fire of sorts. How would they replace their lead singer with the unique voice and commanding charisma? Initially, they chose another Steve who looked and sounded a lot like Perry but he only lasted around five years before bowing out with throat issues that impacted his ability to sing the demanding catalogue. Next, the band chose hard rocker Jeff Scott Soto to fill-in before ultimately deciding to go in another direction.

It was the Arrival of Filipino Arnel Pineda in 2008 that was literally a Revelation. This talented singer was discovered by Neal Schon on YouTube and he was immediately tapped to join the band and record the comeback album of the same name that was already written in true Journey style just waiting for the golden voice to be Captured on tape. Sure, not all Journey fans were satisfied with the choice but the power and presence of Pineda won many over and a new era of the band was born.

With Pineda in the band new Frontiers have certainly opened for the group as they are now a force to be reckoned with in the Far East and their last DVD documented Arnel's homecoming before 30,000 adoring Manila fans. And following his initial success and breakthrough with the legendary rockers it was his turn to cement his status as a full member in the creative process of recording a new album.

The three-pack that opens the CD are equal with anything the guys have released before. "City Of Hope" is an anthem of perseverance for the modern day. "Edge Of The Moment" keeps the listener hanging on with a sense of urgency. "Chain of Love" binds with a nod to traditional R&B and might be a lock for the album's biggest hit.

"Anything Is Possible" is upbeat and hopeful while "Resonate" resonates with Pineda's passion and Journey's power. "Human Feel" has a funky feel with a lyrical refrain that will have you rising up wherever you may be.

Pineda participates in the songwriting on two tracks. The personal and prayerful "To Whom It May Concern" seeks peace in our time. "She's A Mystery" is a smart sounding acoustic ballad with luscious layers of harmony and instrumentation.

Journey is in top form on the Kevin Shirley produced Eclipse. Schon shines on guitar and exposes the listener to non-stop blistering licks throughout. Jonathan Cain adds warm keys and another satisfactory round of lyrics to the mix. The rhythm section is led by veteran founding member Ross Valory and the award-winning powerhouse Deen Castronovo who is simply a monster on drums.

Eclipse is surely a darker and mysterious take on the band's legendary sound with glimpses of the familiar breaking through. On this album much of the melodic styling and radio-friendly hooks the group is known for have been shelved in favor of a hard-driving, pleasing and pulsating sonic attack. There's a jamming musicality evident throughout that has been honed through relentless years on the road.

In the totality of Journey releases Eclipse is an important moment as it offers a Look Into The Future and points to where they can go with Pineda at the helm. There are some fans who can't Escape the fact that Steve Perry is no longer in the band. But, the addition of Arnel Pineda who now has two successful releases under his belt, assures that Journey will continue to reach new Generations of fans for a long time to come.

Review by Rockin' Rich Lynch (

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