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SWEET & LYNCH - Unified

More Sweet Than Lynch

After an excellent debut collaboration release, Sweet and Lynch, just two years later, return with more solid melodic rock and metal. There is some really good/solid stuff here for sure, and most who enjoyed Only To Rise will find Unified in pretty much the same vein. But while I really liked the balance of Lynch’s styles with Sweet’s on the debut, to me, Unified feels a bit more Sweet than Lynch. I mean, the first two tracks could easily find their way onto a Stryper record (both musically and lyrically). I love Stryper, but I feel with this band there should be something a bit more distinctive. I think Only to Rise was able to blend the two artists effectively, but many of these songs have a strongly Sweet/Stryper vibe. And again, I don’t mean that in a negative way, just a bit surprised by the direction here. The bluesy guitar work in “Tried & True” shifts the balance in Lynch’s direction, but once again the lyrics bleed Sweet. Regardless the intent, I do like the message and the lyrics to the title track. There is some redundancy here as well – listen to the main riffs in “Heart of Fire” and “Make Your Mark” and tell me you don’t hear a lot of similarity. “Bridge of Broken Lies” has some nice guitar and vocal melodies – can’t help but wonder to whom these words are directly though. “Better Man” is one of the best songs here – great words and some tasteful guitar leads. And the album ends on a really positive note with the upbeat and uplifting “Live to Die.” In summary, Unified is a solid collection of songs, but I think the creative energy/synergy of Sweet/Lynch is not as evident here as it was on the debut. In fairness, I definitely think this will appeal more to fans of Sweet’s solo work (and even Stryper) than to fans of Lynch Mob/Dokken. [Frontiers]

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