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July 13, 2024

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Molly Hatchet
Silent Reign of Heroes (CMC International)

By: Jeb Branin

As a bona fide southern rock nut since about the age of 10, I have been a MOLLY HATCHET fan for most of my life. So I was thrilled to get this CD in the mail. However, I must admit that I also felt some trepidation insofar as I hadn't heard the "new" M.H. and none of the current lineup are original members of the band. My worry was in vain because the magic is still there... It is different, but definitely present. The new band stays true to, and builds on, the sound that launched this act as a major force in southern rock. In fact this album is truer to the M.H. sound in countless ways than some mid-career albums that did feature original members. "Silent Reign Of Heroes" starts off nicely with the heavy handed boogie of "Mississippi Moon Dog" a down and dirty tune that effectively sets the stage. The rest of the record flows smoothly and seamlessly through a masterful variety of songs. There are heavy tunes, mellow tunes, bluesy tunes, rockin' tunes, serious tunes, frivolous tunes, metallic tunes, and even a remake of the M.H. epic classic "Fall of the Peacmakers". MOLLY HATCHET demonstrate clearly that they are consummate professionals and seasoned artists. Especially impressive throughout the CD are the vocals of Phil McCormack, whose whisky soaked voice is stunning in its pure southern rock glory. He is a fine addition to the legacy of Hatchet singers. As a reference I would have to say his voice falls somewhere between that of original vocalist Danny Joe Brown, whose soul filled singing defined most of the band's best work, and Jimmy Farrar, whose rough and tumble delivery was rife with aggression and remains a personal favorite of mine. Any fan of solid and biting rock 'n roll is gonna love "Silent Reign of Heroes".
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