Review: ALTZI – All Eyes on Me

Review: ALTZI – All Eyes on Me

RA Music (March 25th, 2022)

Reviewer: Jason Hopper

Rick Altzi has made a name for himself having sung in several bands like At Vance, Masterplan, and Herman Frank. He has now branched out on his own with his band ALTZI and their debut, ‘All Eyes on Me‘. Those that are looking for heavy and fast melodies similar to his past bands are in for a surprise. The feel for this album is heavily influenced by what’s he’s done with the recent band Gathering of Kings. Fans of that band are going to eat this album up.

This album has all the makings of what you would want from a Swedish melodic hard rock album. Fourteen tracks of strong catchy melodies, powerful background vocals, a few ballads scattered about, and guest guitarists like Joel Hoekstra and Oliver Hartmann providing superb solos.  You could print up a list of the songs on this album, tape it to a wall, throw a dart at it and it will land on a great song.

Point of No Return’ kicks things off with verses that start off subtle (just a high-hat, a few chords, and vocals) before adding the rest of the band and building up to its powerful, catchy chorus.  We’ve all heard songs like this before, but that doesn’t make it any less effective or exciting for me. The ball keeps rolling to ‘Crash and Fall’ with a guitar chugging melody courtesy of Pete Alpenborg that gets the blood pumping. From there the album continues to roll down the tracks going from strength to strength. Top song on the album for me goes to ‘Legacy’. I’m a big H.E.A.T fan and this song sounds like it’s unreleased from one of their more recent albums.  Best chorus on an album that is filled with an extensive number of great choruses. Top quality rock right here.

I dig the vocal stylings of Rick Altzi. To those unfamiliar, he has a seasoned timbre similar to David Reece. A smokey grit that also manages to reach the highs needed for a soaring chorus.  He also does background vocals on several songs on the album, and he lowers his register slightly in the chorus to make for a great contrasting dynamic between his highs and lows.

A small critique on the rhythm of the album. Picture in your head a standard rock track beat.  That’s the type of beat that encompasses most of the songs on this album. Some more variety in the drumming would have been welcomed. What would have made this less noticeable is a reordering of the track list. Tracks 12 and 13 (‘Tossin’ and Turnin’ and ‘Final Warning’) are the most fast-paced songs on the album, but they are placed right next to each other at the end of the album. Those songs should have been separated and it would have benefitted the overall pace of the album. While all these songs are strong, I suspect they’ll play better as part of a playlist as opposed to listening straight through the album.

We got another winner on our hands here. Mr. Altzi has written quite a collection of tunes here that will appeal to fans of a Swedish rock scene that miraculously conjures up 80s-style melodic rock with ease. That’s not a slight on ALTZI. They continue to show why Sweden reigns supreme in the land of melodic rock. An album sure to make everyone’s Top 10 lists this year.