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Ian Toomey discussses the progression of Bitches Sin, then latterly the Ian Toomey project. From 2006 working and recording exclusively with Chris Tsangarides until he passed away 6th January 2018 and onto the video years working with Lol Cooper and Ben Warrington from Cavalier Studios
When Ian Toomey first took to making music in 1980 with post-punk band Bitches Sin, he never anticipated some 38 years later he’d still be in the studio producing new material as a solo artist who has seen and done it all.
Classic rock runs rife in his solo album Masters Of Light and isn’t a sound we get a lot of these days. But it’s a sound that brings a lot of enjoyment when it’s done well, and it’s the sound that makes Ian Toomey want to keep on keeping on.
Totally superior to its predecessor, the second album of the veteran British guitarist contains more variety and solidity that shows its musical diversity. An honest work that registered in the old fashioned way with all the force and chemistry of the direct in studio. Result; passion and energy. The guitars are back to a higher level, drawing melodies and solos as exhibited in 'Only Words', a homage to the great Gary Moore, or a sublime guitar like 'Too Many Goodbyes'. Great interpretation by David A. Mills, whose voice is a clear example of British style; hard / heavy. Reminiscences to Rush and Metallica in 'Underground' and 'Devil's Chord', Led Zeppelin in 'The Priest' or UFO in 'Another World'.
This is the guitar player of Bitches Sin and wow what a freakin rock/metal release this is. From the 1st note to the last you will have that fist up in the air I assure you. This is just plain ass kickin rock n roll the way it used to sound back in the 80’s and now it is sounding that way in 2016. Bands these days have all that crappy groove or happy riffing in their music and this doesn’t, and I know it wouldn’t, and this sure does not disappoint. The production from Chris Tsangarides is right on the money and the vocals are perfect, like a tight pair of pants, and if you like classic rock n roll, and by that I mean real classic rock n roll this is a must have.
In August 1980 Ian Toomey first stepped into a recording studio with Bitches Sin, the band he’d formed with his brother Peter when he’d come to the conclusion that no-one would ever really deliver the album that he wanted to hear. Almost thirty-five years to the day later the guitarist was back in the studio once more, working again with his long-term friends and collaborators Steve Turton (drums), David A Mills (vocals) and producer extraordinaire Chris Tsangarides. The result of these recordings is Toomey’s second solo album ‘Masters Of Light’, a distinctive and cohesive set of songs which once again demonstrate the diversity of Toomey’s musical point of view. As with his previous solo release ‘Ascension’, on ‘Masters Of Light’ Toomey has allowed himself to visit places musically that, to him at least, were previously uncharted. It’s as if, no longer confined by the (possibly self-imposed) restrictions or expectations of writing purely within the confines of Bitches Sin, he’s allowed himself to stretch out and from an almost iconoclastic viewpoint dictate a modern day rock (rather than metal) manifesto.
Gotta love this CD, whether you will or you won’t. The new solo CD by IAN TOOMEY is a true beauty and I think it’s by far his best release ever.
It contains eight songs, but there are no fillers just killers on there. Ian walked a road of thirty-five years to a temple of learning. He feels that with this album he has reached an important milestone in his life. What has been required of him has been completed. The questions he had in his life have been answered and he closes an important chapter with this album. After a journey of thirty-five years, he is inside the temple. Every year floats away on this silver disc in about one full minute. The total playing time is a very intense thirty-five minutes (well, maybe a few seconds more).
Hairy Bikers Dave and Si liked the new 'Ascension' album so much they played it on the 'Hairy Rock Show' on Planet Rock radio.
Featured track was 'Very Soon Everyone's Leaving'... watch this space for more plays in the future!
If you’re a fan of old-school NWOBHM you’ll know Bitches Sin and of source their lead guitarist Ian Toomey; ‘Ascension’ is his debut solo album. A lot of passion and though has gone into the writing and recording of this album and that does shine through as you’re listening to it. Toomey also says that much of the album is deeply personal to him with many of the tracks being autobiographical in nature which adds a lot of intrigue as you listen to it through for the first time.
It’s a genre crossing album too as while there is a strong NWOBHM feel across the album with a couple of tunes feeling like they just arrived via time machine, there is also a strong Classic Rock vibe too. Some of this is down to the vocals of David A. Mills who brings a bit of Blues gravel to the mix and his vocals are not stereotypical of what you’d expect from your average NWOBHM band.
Ian Toomey, UK Rock guitarist