Wim R. : Back in 2014 Robby Valentine released ‘Bizarro World’, an album of musical extremities. With ‘The Alliance’ he is releasing a more balanced out album. Valentine had to overcome a lot of personal trouble leading up to this release. Writer’s block, depressions, severe visual problems, you name it. But he stood firm and the result is something to be proud of. All you hear on the album has been played by the man himself. He only had some help with the vocals from guitarist Paul Coenradie and his wife Maria Catharina.
Sometimes a song is fragile (the Beatles like ‘Black Dog’) or it is all systems go (‘Masters Of Our Minds’). ‘The Alliance’ is also a very personal affair. He shares his love for his daughter in ‘Eleanor Robyn’. After a, piano supported, intro the song builds up to a beautiful song. It even has a saxophone solo. Not my favorite instrument, but in this song it fits in nicely. His depressions are the subject in ‘Black Dog’. Despite that subject, the song has a feelgood groove to it, especially because of the happy sounding guitar solo. The signature choirs are also quite prominent in this one. Songs like ‘Judgement Day’ and ‘The Bitter End’ are stadium like songs. Big and bold, the way Valentine handles these affairs. Single ‘Soldiers Of The Light’ is adventurous with its Eastern vibe to it. But the icing on the cake has to be ‘Masters Of Our Minds’. If you are interested in the story behind this song, check out the interview we had with Valentine. Especially the outro is a real gem, the soundtrack like features are sure to feed your imagination. It is crystal clear that The Beatles, Queen and ELO are main influences in the music of Valentine. To put a long story short, the man really delivered. The album can also be bought as a limited ear book with a bonus disc. On that disc you can hear alternate versions of the songs. It gives a nice insight in the process that led to ‘The Alliance’. This album is not really for the die hard metalhead, but those who love melodic rock are in for a treat. Show your support and join ‘The Alliance’.