RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

SWEET & LYNCH – Unified
Rating: A

By now, you know (or, at the very least, have heard of) SWEET & LYNCH — the project featuring guitarist/vocalist Michael Sweet of STRYPER, veteran axeman George Lynch (ex DOKKEN, LYNCH MOB), seasoned bassist James LoMenzo (WHITE LION, MEGADETH) and talented drummer Brian Tichy (WHITESNAKE, DEAD DAISIES).

A couple of years ago their debut album caught the attention of a whole lotta people, due to its overall quality. But now, their new effort called “Unified” raises the bar and, I dare to say, is even better than its predecessor.

It’s true that there are some lighter tunes, with an obvious more melodic rock aura, and even some AORish flavors here and there, but don’t let it fool you: “Unified” is a solid, in-your-face rock album that might make some bricks fall off the walls.

Within a very tight tracklist, songs that deserve special attention (for various reasons) are “Promised Land”, “Make Your Mark”, “Find Your Way”, “Tried And True” (a beautiful ballad), “Bridge Of Broken Lies” and “Better Man”, all very classy and varied I must say. And though different from each other, all these songs present catchy choruses, killer riffs and awesome vocal performances.

This Japanese edition brings an exclusive acoustic version of the title track, which sounds more interesting in its stripped version.

It’s true that Sweet & Lynch doesn’t sound as heavy as some of the more recent Stryper albums, but it also does not sound “modern” as many recent George Lynch efforts have. Overall, “Unified” has an early-90’s feel to it, powerful, punchy and well-worth of your time.

Michael Sweet is on top of his game and George Lynch sounds inventive and innovative as ever, making this an almost flawless duo. The result is a solid album, featuring some of the most respect musicians on the planet doing what like to do, and doing it damn well.

“Unified” is out now, on Frontiers Records and Avalon/Marquee, for the Japanese market.

01 - Promised Land
02 - Walk
03 - Afterlife
04 - Make Your Mark
05 - Tried & True
06 – Unified
07 - Find Your Way
08 - Heart Of Fire
09 - Bridge Of Broken Lies
10 - Better Man
11 - Live To Die
12 - Unified (acoustic version) [Japan bonus track]

By Juliano Mallon