Inglorious – We Will Ride (Frontiers Music)
A steely determination to keep classic rock alive continues to serve Inglorious well.
Four albums in and We Will Ride is the full realisation of frontman Nathan James’s Purple-tinged, ‘Snake charming vision.
Infectious. Ingenious. Inglorious. It’s all three and more.
Significantly, the canny addition of producer Romesh Gogandoda has added a reassuring depth to a sound that’s become synonymous with the best of British.
The celebrated producer’s magic touch is almost imperceivable to the untrained ear.
But go back through the Inglorious back catalogue and his influence is clear.
The man responsible for adding the bombast to Bring Me The Horizon and Bullet For My Valentine has added another significant tick to that bulging CV.
In the words of a Jedi master ‘you must unlearn what you have learned’.
And it seems GoganYoda has successfully jockeyed James into a position where the charismatic frontman has reassessed that famously flamboyant vocal approach.
Journey with Nathan James on We Will Ride
Whisper it quietly — and Inglorious’s larger than life leader rarely does anything quietly — but there are times on We Will Ride when less is more behind the mic.
Messiah is a classic case in point as one of the album’s standout tracks leans on a beautifully understated James delivery.
Sure, the chorus still kicks ass with added sass. But there’s palpable power in James’ passive aggressive approach.
Of course, it’s not as if the experienced singer has anything to prove. So maybe We Will Ride is as much about the new boys as the main man.
In that case, Gogandoda has played a blinder. This album is about the bigger picture and Inglorious’ first producer has captured every last detail.
Cruz control proves Dan’s the man
All great frontmen require a fret-burning wingman and James has had a few.
But Danny Dela Cruz might be the best foil yet for the modern-day Coverdale seeking his Marsden, Vandenberg or Vai.
Inglorious’ latest lead guitarist fuses Blackmore, Bettencourt and Malmsteen as he rips through 11 songs tailor-made to cement a soaring reputation.
It’s a given that the 21-year-old is playing way beyond his years. Anyone who caught Inglorious on the road in 2019 will confirm as much.
But on We Will Ride, Dela Cruz plays beyond all reasonable expectations. The sublime solo on Do You Like It is simply off the scale.
Consistency is the key where Dela Cruz is concerned and James can feel rest assured that his brother from another mother is the perfect custodian of the Inglorious brand.
Fellow six stringer Dan Stevens is another star signing breathing new life into a band that’s had its fair share of disruptive exits and disappointing splits.
And when Inglorious’ turbo-charged twin axe attack stares into The Eye Of The Storm (a Whitesnake-inspired power ballad replete with a cute references to Crying In The Rain) it’s confirmation that Inglorious really can ride again — regardless of the personnel.
Drummer Phil Beaver has seen it all, been there and worn the tee-shirt on a rollercoaster rock and roll journey alongside James.
And this time he’s got Vinnie Colla for company in the Inglorious engine room.
The band’s latest bass player has flown under the radar since 2018 but a colossal contribution to We Will Ride should change all that.
Inglorious: band or brand?
So could this be the line-up to finally fire Inglorious into the blues rock big leagues?
It could. And it should.
We Will Ride is the sound of a team united. A band of brothers. Five friends bound by burning ambition.
Just listen to the groove-laden Southern rock underpinning the mesmerising Medusa. Or the Stryper-esque cut and thrust of He Will Provide.
These are rock solid anthems built to last.
We Will Ride could easily be called We Will Rise. Inglorious are back and the only way is up.
Read our exclusive interview with Inglorious frontman Nathan James here