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WISHING WELL Do Or Die

By Alex Yarborough, Orlando Contributor
Monday, March 9, 2020 @ 11:05 AM


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WISHING WELL
Do Or Die

2020 Inverse Records




On March 13th, Helsinki, Finland’s WISHING WELL will release Do Or Die, their third album of bluesy hard rock and heavy metal. I have reviewed every WISHING WELL album so far, and like a fine wine, this band just keeps getting better with age. Do Or Die picks up where second album Rat Race (2018) left off, both sonically, and in good vibes. The lineup of vocalist Rafael Castillo, guitarist Anssi Korkiakoski, organist Arto Teppo, bassist Rick Becker and drummer Juha Kivikanto remains intact.

A quick listen to lead single and title track “Do Or Die” (video on KNAC.COM HERE), and you’re instantly barreling down the highway at breakneck speed. Arto Teppo’s organ is immediately evident here and in the equally powerful “Made Of Metal”, which chugs along with confidence (and is a stand out track). “We Shall Never Surrender” is as solid an anthem that the band has ever written, and gets into that retro groove a little more. I love the riffs and solo from Anssi on this track. “Sermon On The Mount” is another beautiful hymn by WISHING WELL, and references Christ’s teachings after his baptism by John the Baptist. “Lost In The Night” is a bouncy mid-tempo rocker with tons of groove. “Homeless Soul” is a personal song for Anssi, as it was written during a tough period in his life. It’s certainly not depressing, just the opposite in fact. It’s a real expression of empowerment.

Ballad “Live And Learn” revolves around the adage ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same’. “To Be Or Not To Be” is another catchy mid-tempo track, while “The Gates of Hell” (the longest track on the album at just over six minutes) slows things down to a grinding jam, with Arto’s organ taking the lead. There’s a nice touch by Juha with cowbell in each of these two songs.

Overall, Do Or Die is what I was hoping for from WISHING WELL: expertly crafted, mature rock songs that nod to the old school, and are worth listening to over and over again. The previously mentioned songs are all within the band’s wheelhouse, but the epic final track “Cosmic Ocean” was certainly anomalous, with its atmospheric acoustic guitar, haunting vocal and flute accents. A fantastic finale to the album. Do Or Die is in my opinion, the band’s best album so far. Brandon Moore’s cover artwork is a cosmic masterwork as well. Do Or Die has 10 songs at a length of around 48 minutes. This album should appeal to fans of DEEP PURPLE, IRON MAIDEN and Dio-era RAINBOW.

4.7 Out Of 5.0


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