Mark Slaughter was the voice of the band Slaughter who are still recording and touring as ‘Slaughter’ however, Mark has moved on and in 2015 released a pretty good solo album, ‘Reflections in a Rear View Mirror’ which showed he still has a passion and gift for writing and recording some solid tracks. It was well received and admired for being a ‘solo’ project but didn't receive the airplay or commercial success that it promised.
So to the new album ‘Halfway There’, Mark has again written it all, played every instrument and produced the album… but is it any good? Well yes…it is rather!
I listened the first time and listened again straight after, and again straight after that – I need this on loop! ...I keep finding things or intricacies I didn’t hear initially.
The album is not a reminisce of days gone by, it doesn’t throw me back to the 80’s and 90’s, far from it, it is very much a here and now album with all the right formulas to keep new fans and old fans happy. Melodies, grooves, fist in the air choruses, stunning ballads, it has just the perfect combination of everything needed to make an album full of wonderfulness. Mark’s vocal range and tone is still stunning, delighting the ear drums with emotion and delicacy before whacking them with some mighty rock and roll pipes!
‘Hey You’ opens the album will full on melodic riffs, strong vocals and has a great ‘fist in the air’ feel. ‘Devoted’ is fast paced with hard riffs, key changes and melodic hard rocking, ‘Supernatural’ with it’s very much ‘Slaughter’ rock and roll feel and great vocal, nostalgic but not stale. The very beautiful, emotionally charged, piano rich ‘Halfway There’ shows just how gorgeous Mark’s voice can be. I am convinced that ‘Forevermore’ would sound rather awesome on the radio, ticking all the right boxes for a sure-fire winner, commercial classic rock but not cheesy – a really great track.
‘Conspiracy’ delights the ears with another huge vocal. ‘Reckless’ has a wonderful groove running through a very heavy track and the very clever ‘Disposable’ having children’s voices in the background before becoming simply huge with a humongous chorus. My personal favourite on the album is ‘Not Here’, very beautiful and more bluesy in tone with a lovely guitar solo and another cracking vocal.
I love this album. In my opinion, there is nothing to dislike, there is a massive variety in the tempo / tone/ emotions of the tracks and a smoothness to the producing which is commendable. Mark should be incredibly proud of this one, it is a step up from his first solo album and is well written musically (playing all the instruments so well is pretty immense) with major riffs, clever hooks, catchy choruses and some major rock and roll!
Grab this one and have a listen. You will not be at all disappointed.
1. Hey You
4. Halfway There
9. Turn It
10. Not Here