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Music: UFO: The Visitor

Our Take

When most people think of traditional hard rock/heavy metal, UFO almost instantly comes to mind. The British group has been around since 1969 and despite plenty of lineup changes (and the departure of long time guitarist Michael Schenker) they have still continued to release material on a regular basis. Now on their twentieth full length album The Visitor, UFO is doing what they do best and pumping out energetic hard rock. And even though some people refuse to recognize this band without Schenker’s contributions, there is no denying that these guys have continued to outlast almost all of their peers.

Even the purists who lean towards Schenker era UFO will have to admit that Vinnie Moore is no slouch when it comes to playing guitar (as he has proven through numerous solo albums), and the leads that he has written for The Visitor continues to showcase this. Even forty years after their formation these guys continue to rock harder than many of today’s groups, and that’s not something that happens all that often unless you also want to count Uriah Heep. Tracks such as “Living Proof” have extremely catchy grooves to them that are sure to be stuck in listeners’ heads for some time to come. It’s not necessarily my favorite offering from this group, but The Visitor is proof that they can still write catchy songs that still have as much energy as their earlier material.

Vocalist Phil Mogg is now 61 years old and his voice has deteriorated a bit over the years, but compared to some of the other singers out there from around the same time period Mogg still sounds pretty damn good. It doesn’t sound as though he quite has the range that he used to, but the vocals still have an incredible amount of energy that helps the instrumentals. It’s as though Mogg really evaluated what he was still capable of vocally and tailored his parts accordingly, as The Visitor still showcases him at his best despite the fact that he has been with UFO since they formed.

Twenty albums in, UFO is not only still relevant but they still know how to craft a hard rock full length that listeners will be listening to for quite some time. Is it their best? I don’t think so (and everyone is welcome to argue over which UFO release is their favorite), but it is a worthy addition to any UFO fan’s collection and a great way for the newer generation of listeners to begin experiencing this legendary hard rock act.
Chris Dahlberg
May 26, 2009

COSMOS GAMING - copyright 2009





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