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).
I think, you better read the whole story behind Ian’s milestone in his musical career in the booklet. In an interview with NWOBHM icon John Tucker, he speaks out openly about achieved goals, influences, friendships and all background information you need to know to understand the meaning of this album completely.
Let’s focus on the music here. The album starts with “Underground”. No matter how good the music is, somehow it will always be part of the ‘underground scene’. However, this is not what the meaning of the song is about. Ian is the rough diamond that you can find in this scene though. Still anxious to make good music, loved by many underground music fans, well-known for his past and becoming a cult-hero after all these years, in my book. Just listen to the great power in this opener, and the awesome guitar work. The very first sounds may refer to RUSH’s “Tom Sawyer”, but pretty soon the powerful chords will hit you. The guitar solo is much more in service of the song and still breathtaking. The police sirens gain the powerful action that is spread out here. What a great opener.
Also when the band takes a step back in speed, it’s the magic sound that catches my attention in “Devil’s Chord”. An “Enter Sandman” (METALLICA) like intro part will introduce you to the question if you’d play the devil’s chord to have a chance to life again. Now would you? You can wait until the torturing of the strings starts and there’s nothing that can stop the man.
The very first guitar touches of “The Priest” remind me of “Stairway To Heaven”, but this is only for the very first few seconds that the strings are touched. After that, the steady firm beats of drummer Steve Turton catch my attention. Seriously, this is an all destroying beat. No wonder they call him ‘Stixslayer’. And just before I want to sing the words ‘when you need a friend through thick and thin’ of MONTROSE’s “Rock Candy”, “The Priest” starts.
The drive of “Only Words” sounds miraculous and the way Dave A. Mills sings will make you think of the good old days of Phil Mogg (UFO). A song like that simply asks for another breathtaking guitar solo and that’s exactly what you’re gonna get. The song is a tribute to the late GARY MOORE, so you know in what direction things it will be heading. A good tribute to a great guitar player, let’s be honest.
“We Are The One” is a powerful track with a freaky part at the end of the song in which the band and especially Mr. Guitar player, totally lose themselves. It’s there that you hear how much fun the guys have had when recording the album. It sounds like a spontaneous jam.
“Burning Up” is another up-tempo footstomper with fiery axe work of Ian and Chris Tsangarides. Yes, you read that right. Chris is also providing his skills again on this album. With a friendship like that, there is no escape that the ‘The Dark Lord’ would make his appearance again.
“Another World” also has got that dynamic sound that will make you think of bands like UFO, the amazing sound of the seventies and eighties, when classic rock bands were still making music instead of making noise. Just check out the blasting bass sound in the beginning. It’s like a bulldozer enters your living room. The fiery axe work is the cream on this cake again. It will bring you in trance and transport you to ‘another world’.
The darkest sound is provided in “Too Many Goodbyes” at the end of the CD. Despite the dark sound, it contains some excellent guitar work.
You can’t keep the predator down. “Masters Of Light” has become an excellent album, I didn’t doubt that for a second with such a skilled bunch of musicians. The question will remain, standing on crossroads, which direction to go to after this release. Will there be yet another solo album or will Ian start to play ‘the sound of silence’? The answer is in the temple, that he has reached now.
9.5 (Toine van Poorten).
Listen and buy online now: www.cdbaby.com/Artist/IanToomey