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i've been a Molly Hatchet fan since 1980 and bought EVERY album/dvd since 'Beaten The Odds' on the day it was released but i've always struggled to come to terms with the latter versions of the band using the name,to have NO original members and be carried along by 2 of Danny Joe Brown's sidemen always seemed wrong and gave the whiff of tribute band,the albums have generally been good if a little lacking in originality,so given that this would appear to be the first album that original guitarist Dave Hlubeck would be recording with this version of the band, live discs/cover albums not withstanding( i know he was named on the previous 'Warriors of the Rainbow Bridge,but he didnt even get a photo on the sleeve nor any writing credits)-i was anticipating something a little extra.

So how does it shape up,well sadly no writing credits for Hlubeck,the triumvibrate of Ingram/Galvin/McCormack calling the shots clearly with Dave reduced to role of bitplayer in his own band ,somewhat disapointing,the solo's arent credited either so its hard to tell how much input he has,whatever....

The revelation is in the music,this disc knocks the last 2 studio discs for six and gives 'Devils Canyon & Silent Reign Of Hereos' a run for their money,opening with with a triple (southern metal) whammy the band is rockin from the off and dazzling solo afer solo lets rip from your speakers before track 4 'American Pride' returns the band back to the southern rock of the early days,so far so good,'Gonna live 'Til I die' is next and is a typical southern epic that this band do so well and immediately reminds me of the classic 'Fall of the Peacemakers'.

The mood takes a sombre turn as the haunting,chilling 'Fly On The Wings Of Angels(Somer's song) flows out of the speakers and all the way thru all i could think about was my own son/daughter and the impact their death would have on me,if that was the purpose then job done,as well as celebrating the life of one taken too soon,the loss palpable while listening to the track,it certainly stalls the disc and halts the celebratory mood of the earlier tracks.The sombre mood continues with 'Heaven is Forever' and its message of departed loved ones, again im thinking of my parents long dead,cant believe this,cant remember the last time a disc made me think/feel like this,another beautiful song,understandably the follow up 'Tomorrow and Forevers' stutters slightly.

The album takes off again with the final 3 tracks,the three really can be seen as one long trilogy with the epic title track being absolutely magnificent.

I still have my reservations regarding calling themselves Molly Hatchet but i cannot ignore the quality of the disc,if there's any 'justice' in the world this should fly(on the wings of angels?) up the charts.
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I can feel all the aches and pains kicking into action when I realise that it's nearly thirty years since I bought my first Molly Hatchet album. There was only one rock show on my local radio station and for most of 1980 the DJ played 'Beatin' The Odds' by Molly Hatchet just about every week. So with my apprentice butcher wages in hand I headed off to Oddfellows Hall and the Ezy Ryder record emporium. They didn't have that album, but they did have a second hand copy of their self titled debut. I didn't stop playing it for months and my life long love of Southern Rock was well and truly underway.

Of course we didn't have the internet back then, so it took a while for me to work out why the vocals sounded so different from the song I'd heard on the radio. And by the time I managed to buy the "Beatin' The Odds" album, vocalist Jimmy Farrar had already left to be replaced by the man he'd replaced, Danny Joe Brown. Confusing times. Molly Hatchet came to an end in 1990 after releasing one of the greatest live albums of all time, "Double Trouble Live", in 1985, and their final studio album "Lightning Strikes Twice" in 1989. But if I'd been confused before, then things were about to become even stranger.

A touring band featuring Danny Joe Brown went on the road in the nineties, featuring guitarist Bobby Ingram, who'd been in Danny Joe Browns solo band in the early eighties, and whom Brown had brought into Molly Hatchet. Sadly, in 1996, after a stroke, Danny Joe Brown had to leave the band (before passing away in 2005), who brought in vocalist Phil McCormack, releasing the album "Devil's Canyon", resulting in a band that didn't contain a single original member. However, founding guitarist Dave Hlubek did rejoin the band in 2005 after a near twenty year absence.

Since "Devil's Canyon", the band have released three further studio records "Silent Reign of Heroes" in 1998, "Kingdom of XII" in 2000 and "Warriors Of The Rainbow Bridge" in 2005 - and as many live records. They've proven to be very popular in mainland Europe and are signed to a German record label, as well as recording this latest, twelfth, studio album in Germany.

And it's very much business as usual. Their latter day studio albums have been solid, if rarely spectacular, and this one continues in the same vein. However, there are some worthy additions to their Southern rock canon, with the opening track, 'Been To Heaven, Been To Hell', grabbing you by the scruff of your blue collar straight from the off. Best of all, though, are two epic songs. 'Gonna Live 'Til I Die' and the title track both clock in at over eight minutes, and are absolutely stunning. Intense, passionate, driving songs that are built to last. Those are the songs that people are really going to remember from this record.

The centre piece of the album is the affecting 'Fly On Wings Of Angels (Somer's Song)', which is also being released as a single, with all proceeds going to the Somer Thompson Foundation, which was set up in memory of a seven year old girl who was found murdered in October 2009. It's a non-profit foundation set up to help victims families of child abduction resulting in death and brings education and financial aid during that critical time when help is needed so desperately.

It's hard to pick yourself up from that, but a couple of tracks down the line and you'll find Molly Hatchet espousing 'Vengeance' on one of the heaviest tracks on the album. Along with the earlier 'Deep Water' it recalls the hard hitting days of "Take No Prisoners", although I could happily have done without the synthesisers that appear prominently on both songs. It's a good album, and one that I'm happy to add to my collection, and if you'd forgotten all about Molly Hatchet, then this is a reminder of the good old days when Southern rock was king.
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on 27 August 2010
As a longtime fan from the first album onwards I looked forward to this,the first Hatchet album with new material since 2005's "Warriors..." Alas, it's proved a bit of a let down Phil McCormack,s vocals sound iffy in the mix and Bobby Ingram's song writing could do with a helping hand One final gripe: is Dave Hlubeck just there to make the whole thing legit again? I think they should just call it the Ingram/McCormack Band If you want to buy a great Molly Hatchet album get"Flirtin' With Disaster"or even "Beatin' The Odds"(with Jimmy Farrar on vocals)but not this one as it is not nearly the return to form that was hoped for
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on 24 June 2014
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on 14 December 2015
Molly hatchet without one original member, is it molly ? I don't know but I like this ,defo sounds like them ,
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on 10 July 2010
on par with devil's canyon, the latter molly hatchet are back on form,put it in your car cd player and rock your neighbourhood,good enough to shake your nasty neighbours false teeth,god and guns from skynyrd was second grade but justice is a rocker.
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on 18 March 2015
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