German melodic hard rockers Wicked Sensation have returned with their 2nd album "Exceptional". Their debut was a mediocre album that showed a lack of top-notch tracks. For this new album they have recruited former Victory singer Fernando Garcia and he?s singing better than ever. It may be because of him the sound and songs are much better and stronger on "Exceptional". Now the songs are filled with hooklines, catchy choruses and nice harmonies that the debut didn?t have.
The production is also very good and it?s done by the Wicked guitarist Michael Klein and mixed by Dennis Ward (PC 69) with a strong result. Wicked Sensation had a great helping hand on recording this album. Andi Deris from Helloween liked the sound of the new album and helped out with various things. The sound of Wicked Sensation is very typical European melodic hard rock in the same vein as Pink Cream 69, Jaded Heart and Shylock.
It?s an "Intro" that opens up this album but it?s followed by a brilliant melodic rocker called "Shining Light", the chorus is filled with powerful and strong background vocals with a lots of hooklines. Lovers of Pink Cream 69 will love "Back To My Bed" with fantastic guitar riffs and melodies. "Exceptional" is a prime time rocker in the best PC69 style with nice keyboardlines and tough guitar riffs. "Kiss It Away" is a more traditional 80s American sounding song with a commercial touch including fluffy keyboards and great hooklines ala Jaded Heart.
Last song on the album is the highlight of the album- "Rain On Me" is an awesome MHR/AOR song with a chorus that is catchy as hell. The keyboards are very 80s on this one and the chorus will stay in your head when you hear it and Jaded Heart would not have managed to come up with a better song. In the end this is a strong 2nd album from Wicked Sensation and should please fans of European melodic hard rock. It?s also great to hear Fernando Garcia sing with so much passion and power on "Exceptional" that he lifts up the weaker tracks, not that there are many though. Now I have to get back to my cd-player and put on "Rain On Me" and get my daily dose of melodic hard rock.