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LIBERTY 'N JUSTICE - THE VOW (Retroactive, CD, 2015)

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Most hard music fans identify with Liberty N? Justice as an ?all star project? due to the recent history of founding member Justin Murr. Starting with Welcome To The Revolution from 2005, Murr has recruited some of the best musicians and vocalists in the business (both past and present) to assist with the songwriting and recording of each LNJ album. Welcome To The Revolution, for instance, featured eighteen different vocalists, including Michael Sweet (Stryper), Ken Tamplin (Shout), Jamie Rowe (Guardian) and Lou Gramm (Foreigner). The trend continued over the next eight years, with LNJ releasing five full-length studio albums, one EP and two compilations before culminating with the 2013 2-CD set The Cigar Chronicles in which 76 guest musicians participated. What many do not know, however, is that LNJ actually got its start as a two-man band in which Murr joined forces with vocalist Patrick Marchand. The pair recorded four albums over a nine-year span, starting with Armed With The Cross (1992) but also encompassing Big Guns (1994), Forever Till The End (1996) and Bargain Bin (2000). The Vow, the fifteenth LNJ album from the summer of 2014, finds Murr relinquishing his all star project ways and returning LNJ to its full-fledged band roots. This reveals itself in how for the first time since 2000 Murr has recorded an LNJ album with the same nucleus of musicians: Joining Murr on bass is vocalist David Cagle, guitarist JK Northrup (King Cobra, XYZ), keyboardist Eric Ragno (China Blue, Graham Bonnett, Faiths Edge) and drummer Michael Feighan (White Cross, King James). What has not changed is musical direction in that LNJ stays true to its eighties influenced melodic rock, commercial hard rock and melodic metal roots. Those that have followed LNJ over the years know there are some variances therein, ranging from the lighter touches of the acoustic based Independence Day (2007) and AOR influenced Chasing A Cure (2011) to the driving metal of Hell Is Coming To Breakfast (2012). In between LNJ settles into a steady groove of melodic hard rock on Light It Up (2010) and The Cigar Chronicles (2013). The Vow presents with a best of both worlds scenario in featuring a delectable selection of heavier and lighter cuts I see appealing to fans of all eras of LNJ?s history. Now housed in a 4 panel full color digipak, the 2015 Retroactive Records CD release features two tracks previously not included with the digital download.

01 Forever Starts Tonight (featuring Gunnar Nelson of NELSON)

02 For Sure Thing (featuring Kelly Keeling of BATON ROUGE)

03 Honeymoon Is Over (featuring Richard Kendrick)

04 That's Gonna Leave A Mark

05 Gone

06 Every Night She Cries

07 Promises to God (featuring Fergie Frederiksen of TOTO)

08 Pucker Up (featuring Richard Kendrick)

09 Sting Of Her Kiss

10 Two Or More

11 Another Goodbye (featuring Gunnar Nelson of NELSON)

12 Prince Charming In Disguise

13 Can't [Bonus Track]

14 Amaze Me [Bonus Track] (featuring Donnie Vie of ENUFF ZNUFF)