Album Review – Mark Slaughter – Reflections in a Rearview Mirror

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When STICK IT TO YA! was released in 1990, I was already a fan of MARK SLAUGHTER. Being a life long horror film fan, in 1988 I bought the soundtrack to the film A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 4: THE DREAM MASTER. On the album there was a track from a band called VINNIE VINCENTS INVASION called LOVE KILLS. Knowing that VINNIE VINCENT was from KISS and really loving the VV era, the song became an instant favourite. Who says dudes don’t like ballads huh?

This lead me to discover MARK SLAUGHTER, the second lead vocalist in VVI and his voice had something that I had never heard before in Hard Rock – range, (I had not yet discovered the joys of JUDAS PRIEST nor IRON MAIDEN). The vocal melodies and sheer effortlessness that was MARK offered was a revolation, something that grew from strength to strength following him from VVI to the aforementioned SLAUGHTER.

Showing that they weren’t a one trick pony, SLAUGHTER scaled the heights of the times and proved time and again in subsequent albums that there was real talent behind the image. As the years went by and with music tastes in general changing, things slowed down and SLAUGHTER’s output stopped.

Out of the shadows of the band, MARK SLAUGHTER has released his debut solo album called ‘REFLECTIONS IN A REARVIEW MIRROR’. Instead of following the trends set by todays market, this album is setting them and when MARK is on point, no one can deny the talent that this man has.

Playing every instrument bar drums MARK has delivered an album of majestic diversity. Mix and Mastered by the maestro MICHAEL WAGENER, this album is a treat from start to finish. Not only is it a love letter to those that have stuck by MARK through all of his projects but it gives us a rare glimpse into what’s behind the man.

Every since watching ‘THE WILD LIFE’ long form VHS back in the day, I knew he was a guitarist. What I didn’t know was HOW GOOD of a guitarist that he is. Without a shadow of a doubt, he shows that a good melody, subtlety and restraint are worth a thousand ‘angry bee’ moments.

The guys in SLAUGHTER were always, to me, very underrated as musicians. Not only does he have a voice that would have to be argued as one of the all-time best, but he is also an extremely versatile multi-instrumentalist. Like Hard Rock’s version of PRINCE.

‘REFECTIONS IN A REARVIEW MIRROR’ features MARK GOODIN on Drums and is Produced by MARK SLAUGHTER . The talent is undeniable, the music is unforgettable.

Track Listing –

  1. Away I Go – A kick ass opening track, 4×4 rock and roll. His voice is amazing
  2. Never Givin Up (Album Version) – Inspirational and moving tribute to all those in the armed forces.
  3. Miss Elainious – Heavy Guitars, driving down the freeway music
  4. Carry Me Back Home – Mandolins!!! Beautiful song, great hook. Shades of prog rock and diverse in it’s structure. Headphone material.
  5. The Real Thing – Solid Rocker, Riffs are off the hook
  6. Baby Wants – Aggressive song, love the attitude. Solo is beautiful, melodic and fits perfect.
  7. Don’t Turn Away – Obligatory ballad but this time it’s chord changes prevent this from being atypical. Layered vocals are amazing. Duet with Gena Johnson. Personally not my favourite track on the album but when the least liked track is this good, it’s still all good.
  8. Somewhere Isn’t Here – Back to the rock, a track to sing along to. Keyboard solo! 80s stylin brought back into the modern age.
  9. In A Circle Fight – Lush production, beautiful music interlude. Pan Pipes – what can’t he play?
  10. Velcro Jesus – Epic. This is my favourite on the album. Transports you
  11. Deep in Her Heart – Showing a bluesy side, this song, like MARK has a range. Diverse but never derivative

 

The take away from this album is that whether in a band or solo, MARK SLAUGHTER is a talent to be reckoned with. He is an amazing songwriter, producer and can do just about anything.

A personal album, REFLECTIONS IN A REARVIEW MIRROR gives us a rare insight into who MARK SLAUGHTER is and what he can do. I cannot wait for the second album.

8.5/10

‘REFLECTIONS IN A REARVIEW MIRROR’ can be purchased online from www.markslaughter.com and will be available on CD from May 22nd.

 

 

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