Review: Dante Fox – Breathless – AOR Heaven – Release: Out Now

Review: Dante Fox – Breathless – AOR Heaven – Release: Out Now.

Dante Fox were formed in September 1989 by lead vocalist Sue Willets. She was quickly joined by guitarist Tim Manford and this created a golden partnership. The debut album was released in 1996 by Now & Then. Three years later the second album got a release by Frontiers Records. In 2007 album number three “Under The Seven Skies” saw the light of day. Just in time for their appearance at the Firefest festival in 2012 the album ‘Lost Man’s Ground’ was released. Now four years later they strike back with “Breathless”.

Dante Fox are:
Sue Willets Manford – Lead Vocals
Tim Manford – Lead Guitar
Andy Perfect – Drums
Alan Mills – Bass Guitar
Eric Ragno – Keyboards

1472054848_coverAOR and melodic rock are the genres who have never been afraid of putting a woman behind the microphone. The voice of Sue Willets fits like a glove around this collection of songs. Founding member Tim Manford makes it very clear with opener ‘Young Hearts’ that the guitar gets a lot of room in his songs. The guitar sounds very tight, hugely melodic and Tim isn’t afraid to inject some sparks. Keyboard wizard Eric Ragno makes his mark on ‘All Eyes On You’. Lee Small is responsible for some great backing vocals! But Sue is in optima forma here and her voice is truly a gift from heaven. She sings with a crystal clear voice, has a lot of power and shows tons of passion.

The title track rocks firmly with furious and squeaking guitars at the start. The sweet voice of Sue connects well with the keys. But in the chorus she is fiercely lashing out and isn’t afraid to hit the high notes. She also lets her power throat roar during ‘Break These Chains’, which slowly builds up to the chorus. ‘Broken Hearted Man’ is the first peace and quiet moment of the album. Piano, light orchestration and smooth riffs get the company of Sue’s sweet vocal lines. But Tim lets some ultra-catchy and sensitive solos slip into the sound.

All the songs are pure earcandy to me! Great vocals, strong rhythm section and spectacular stringwork!
The symbiosis between the guitar and the keys on the mighty ‘Dynamite’ is proof of the craftsmanship of both musicians Tim and Eric and a confirmation of the song writing skills!
After the pianoballad ‘Love Affair’ we get another highlight with the enchanting ‘How Will You Know’. This song has piano and orchestration which are covered by a blanket of melodic riffs.

The album closes with the short acoustic ‘Creeps Into My Mind’, which forms the perfect intro for the acoustic version of the earlier mentioned ballad ‘Broken Hearted’.

I did see the band first at work at the mighty Firefest in 2012 and was immediately fond of Sue’s voice. But what she’s done here is beyond my wildest dreams. In addition to that the guitar work from main man Tim is stunning. All songs are great pieces of music and I simply devour this album.

Score: 4,5 out of 5

1. Young Hearts
2. All Eyes On You
3. Breathless
4. Break These Chains
5. Broken Hearted Man
6. I Can’t Stop Tonight
7. Dynamite
8. Love Affair
9. How Will You Know
10. Creeps Into My Mind
11. Broken Hearted Man (acoustic)

Dante Fox Official
Dante Fox Facebook
AOR Heaven

Text by: Rik Bauters

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