Blind Alley - 'Destination Destiny'
Released through Perris Records in 2007
Magnus Olsson - guitar, keyboards, lead & backing vocals
Hans Dimberg - lead & backing vocals
Pierre Glans - guitar, lead & backing vocals
Alec Björedal - lead & backing vocals
Claes Magnusson - drums
1.) "Voices" -This track opens with a pre-musical intro section that consisted of a keyboard and a spoken vocal effect. In the way these two things were recorded gives this section a very eerie almost 1970's horror movie feel. The main musical intro opens with a rhythm guitar riff. One of the first things that caught my ear was the electronic drum fills of the drum line. I do not have the band members at this time so I could not tell you for sure if all the drums were recorded using a drum machine or not. Either way one thing is for sure and that is the drum fills definitely sound as if the were. The cymbal crashes of the intro section were done with a 'china' cymbal. The main drum rhythm underneath the musical verse had a very heavy syncopated feel to it. The musical verse also consisted of two different rhythm guitar arrangements one was done with a clean electric guitar sound, while the other was done using a distortion pedal. The backing harmonies of the chorus though very simple were very tight with a very nice hook. The guitar solo was very laid back with a huge melodic feel to it.
2.) "Another Day" -This track opens with a piano arrangement over the top of a secondary synthesizer playing just chords. The main musical intro section consisted of the entire band. In a lot of different ways the musical and lyrical verses had a progressive music feel to it. The band attached a huge hook to the lyrical lines and backing harmonies of the choruses. To connect the first chorus with the second verse the band used the same musical arrangement as the main body of the musical intro section. The lead guitar solo of this song worked it was just a little short. As I am listening to this song I feel this type of arrangement was screaming for a progressive type keyboard solo arranged in a classical music style.
3.) "Until I See" -There is a small electronic keyboard that opens the intro of this track. This track was recorded using a sixteenth-note drum rhythm. Though there was a very simple rhythm guitar arrangement underneath the vocal lines of the verse, you really almost do not notice it until they kick the distortion in during the chorus. To connect the chorus with the verse the lead guitarist incorporated a very simple palm muting effect. Underneath the second verse the lead guitarist changed the guitar rhythm just a little with the inclusion of a few lead guitar licks. There was a very cool rhythm guitar change connecting the second and third chorus. This track contained no solos.
4.) "Silhouette" -There is a minor lead guitar solo over the top of this intro section. This lead guitar solo runs through the intro and into the opening musical verse. The opening lyric was done with a vocal effect. There was a huge drum fill leading into the chorus. Though there was a small rhythm guitar change it is this drum fill that holds the distinction between the verse and chorus. The backing harmonies of the choruses have a very sweet hook attached to them. The band changes the main rhythm structure of the song for the breakdown section leading into the solo. The lead guitar solo was very simply structured and very melodic.
5.) "Fire And Ice" -This track opens with a backing harmony vocal line. This backing harmony consisted of the guys singing the title of the song. The backing vocal harmony along with the keyboard arrangement of the intro section gives the song a very early eighties AOR feel, or a secondary eighties hard rock sound. ex. Groups like the early eighties band Autograph. The drum rhythm underneath the intro arrangement was huge and really shows Claes drum talent. There is a minor lead guitar solo that runs through the intro section up to the opening vocal line. In the way the guys arranged the rhythm guitar riffs underneath the vocal lines lets the keyboard become the main instrumentation. In may be the fact that I am listening to this CD through headphones but the bass track of the song sounds like it was turned up almost equally as the other instruments. Because of this fact the song takes on a more heavier feel than it would if the bass track was turned down. There is a small rhythm guitar and keyboard change underneath the vocal lines of the musical chorus. There is a small one-bar drum rhythm solo connecting the main lead vocal lines of the chorus with the backing harmony section. Underneath the vocal lines of the second verse there is a couple well placed lead guitar licks. This causes the second verse to have a little bit of a different feel than the first. From beginning to end this song is dripping of huge hooks. The drum rhythm and keyboard change leading into the lead guitar solo was influenced from progressive rock. There is a small breakdown section after the lead guitar solo. The outro section of the song consisted of a repeated chorus.
6.) "Talk Of The Town" -This track opens with a very progressive sounding keyboard effect. The main musical intro stays within the same progressive musical style only a lot more intense. It sounded like Claes double bass drum pattern follows the rhythm guitar riffs note for note. Instead of changing the rhythm guitar riffs for the verse Claes switches the bass drum pattern. Because of the heavy guitar riffs the rhythm guitar almost over powers the lead vocal lines. There is a rhythm arrangement change underneath the vocal lines of the chorus. The backing vocal harmonies of the chorus had a very laid back melodic sound to them. There is a huge drum fill connecting the second verse to the second chorus. The lead guitar solo was heavily influenced by several eighties hard rock lead guitarist.
7.) "Take Me Up" - Over the top of this intro section there is a classic eighties hard rock riff. There is a small lead guitar effect that connects the second and third bar of the intro arrangement. There is a small rhythm guitar change underneath the vocal lines of the verse. The vocal arrangements of the chorus had a very laid back simple feel to them. Underneath the musical section leading into the lead guitar solo you can barely hear a small keyboard arrangement bleeding through. Much like the rhythm guitar riffs the lead guitar solo was heavily influenced by eighties hard rock. With that being said it must also be noted that the way this song was produced the rhythm guitar riffs almost overpower the lead guitar. Which sucked because this was one of the better solos on the CD. After the lead guitar solo there was a small breakdown section that consisted of a backing harmony. There was a minor lead guitar solo over the top of the outro.
8.) "Won't Touch Ground" - This track opens with a small special effect before going into the main musical intro section. The rhythm guitar riffs along with the 'china' cymbal gives the intro section a very heavy sound. Underneath the rhythm guitar riffs there is a small chorded keyboard arrangement. In the way the band wrote the arrangement underneath the vocal lines of the verse gives the song a very abstract feel. I think a lot of this is due to the fact that the keyboard sounds like it is playing one song while everything else is playing another. The lead vocal sound of the verses reminds you a lot of Johnny Gioeli lead vocalist for the hard rock band, Hardline. At times, but not often you can hear an underlining rhythm guitar arrangement. After the second chorus there is a small piano breakdown section that consisted of a small spoken vocal line over the top of it. This leads into a minor lead guitar solo section. One again the arrangement is overshadowed by the rhythm arrangement of the song. The outro consisted of a special effect.
9.) "The One To Never Know" -This track opens with a piano arrangement over the top of an orchestrated string section. The lead vocal lines of the verses had a subtle sound to them. The drum and bass line kick-in the chorus. The chorus had a very laid back melodic feel. The lead guitar solo after the first chorus was also written within a very melodic rock style. To fill-in some of the empty spots of the keyboard the guys incorporated a few lead guitar licks underneath the second verse. The major lead guitar solo is after the third verse. Musically this track was very well written and arranged. The outro section was heavily influenced by Steve Perry and Neal Schon. In fact it is so close to all of the outro arrangements of Journey ballads that one could argue Journey wrote it.
10.) "I Cannot Fight" - The intro to this track consisted of a drum solo rhythm. The rhythm guitar riffs of the opening musical verse had a very intense feel to them. The drum line and lead vocal arrangement of the verse gives this track a very nice hook. The chorus kind of runs into the verse. Underneath the musical arrangement of the second verse there is a progressive style keyboard arrangement. The lead guitar solo much like the rest of the arrangement was heavily influenced from modern progressive metal.
11.) "Stone Cold Eyes" -There is a minor lead guitar solo over the top of this intro arrangement. The rhythm guitar riffs underneath the lead vocal lines of the verses had a very intense feel. Much like the song before it the chorus and verse run into one another. Outside of the breakdown section this track was probably my least favorite. However, with the CD having twelve tracks that is a pretty damn good ratio! To me it just sounds like the song is missing something. I will say this the arrangement underneath the lead guitar solo was very cool.
12.) "Victory" -This track opens with a keyboard effect before going into an almost Yes style vocal line. The drum line of the musical verse had an almost syncopated sound to it. There is a small acoustical guitar arrangement underneath the musical chorus. For the second verse there are two different rhythm guitar arrangements.
‘Destination Destiny’ is the third release from Sweden natives Blind Alley. The CD contains twelve cuts with four of the five band members singing lead vocals. Each track on the CD is as diverse and completely different from the one before it. The arrangements and influences span from classic AOR giants like Journey to modern European progressive heavy metal. Because of the different music styles, it would be very hard to pigeonhole Blind Alley, or, ‘Destination Destiny’ and say they sound like one style of music or group. From, “Voices” to “Victory” this CD has a song for every rock ‘n’ roll fan.