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'Cold' is the sophomore release from melodic rock, AOR outfit Acacia Avenue, the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Torben Enevoldsen (Fatal Force, Fate). In fact, my very first review for Metal Discovery was the Fatal Force album 'Unholy Rites' back in 2012. I had also bought the first, self titled Acacia Avenue album in 2010. Both of those releases were solid efforts, if unremarkable, so has Enevoldsen struck gold this time around?

Like the debut, he plays all guitar, bass and keyboards and sings backing vocals; Dennis Hansen (Fatal Force) is the new drummer and then we have a diverse selection of vocalists to stamp their styles on certain songs. This is certainly a better album than the debut (and, indeed, the Fatal Force album), featuring some very good tracks, but it still doesn't have that 'something' that grabs you by the short and curlies and twists hard!

All the vocalists are top quality but two of the songs that stand out for me are sung by Rob Moratti (ex-Saga, Final Frontier). His tenure with Saga may have been relatively short, and most people wanted the return of Michael Sadler, but 'The Human Condition' is actually one of my favourite Saga albums and Rob was a brilliant choice as frontman. On this album his voice works really well with Enevoldsen's playing and a future full-length partnership might prove very interesting. Also present are Steve Newman (Newman), Albin Ljungqvist & Mikael Roupé (Bamboo Brothers), Torben Lysholm (Pangea, Mysterell), Nicklas Sonne (Defecto) and Peter Sundell (Grand Illusion, Decoy). In fact, Steve Newman's presence is very welcome, especially on 'Angelina'. Lars Frandsen Melau also pops up on piano on the title track.

'Cold' is well sung, well played and nicely produced, it just lacks a few truly memorable hooks and songs to take it to the next level. Torben Enevoldsen is a talented individual, of that there is no doubt, I just wonder that, when you have several projects on the go, songwriting might get a little too thinly spread and concentrating on ten killer tracks for one band might be the way forward!
AOR Heaven
Review by Rick Tilley
30th June 2014
1) Time
2) Love Will Survive
3) It's Over
4) Out of the Business
5) Signs of Love
6) Cold
7) Angelina
8) You and I
9) Calling Out
10) How Many Nights
11) Freedom From Doubt
"...well sung, well played and nicely produced, it just lacks a few truly memorable hooks and songs to take it to the next level."