|Musical Style: Hard Rock||Produced By:|
|Record Label: Independent||Country Of Origin: USA|
|Year Released: 2005||Artist Website:|
|Tracks: 11||Rating: 75%|
|Running Time: 44:25|
Mission Of One is the project of a talented vocalist and guitarist by the name of Chris Dickens. Originally using the moniker of Missionary One on his 2004 full length debut Take Another Swig, Chris changed the name of the project to Mission Of One prior to releasing its very fine 2005 sophomore release Show Me The Way. The album finds Chris continuing to chart the waters of eighties influenced hard rock and biker rock territory, producing a sound inviting a comparison to the likes of Whitecross, Bride, Resurrection Band, Heartcry, Green Sleeves, F.O.G. and Spittin Jonah. The songwriting here proves quite consistent, best reflected in catchy hard rockers such as “Hell Inside” and “Dark Days” in addition to the metal-laced vibe that “Show Me The Way” and “Lies” bring to the table. A measure of versatility, on the other hand, can be found in “Role Of Harlots”, with its heavy blues rock feel, and the classic rock flavorings of “Do We Believe?”. Ultimately, the albums strength resides in its continuity in that it seamlessly flows from one composition to the next while delivering no ballads or “mellow” tracks. In other words, nothing but good, old fashioned and in your face hard rock from front to back. And that is a very good thing.
Chris proves the mastermind behind the project, contributing all its songwriting along with filling in on lead vocals, bass and rhythm guitar. As a vocalist, his gritty and blues soaked vocal delivery helps give the project its signature raw and edgy sound. A guest appearance, however, is made by Scott Wenzel (Whitecross) who lends his raspy vocal style to “Hell Inside”, “Lies” and “Go”. Chris adorns the full length of the album with his tight sounding work on rhythm guitar, while Mark Howell delivers the goods on lead guitar. A particularly talented musician, Mark displays his abundant soloing abilities on “Run”, “Show Me The Way” and “Role Of Harlots”.
While the albums production values combine a crunchy rhythm guitar with a clean mix of lead guitar, a slight but noticeable thinness permeates its sonics. The drums, for example, sound muddy in places and the lead vocals on the harsh side. In the end, nothing that will detract from your listening experience but room for improvement exists here as well.
The lyrics to Show Me The Way, while occasionally straying to the blunt side of things, are bold and upfront in addressing issues ranging from sexual temptation, the horrors of hell, the need for salvation and spiritual warfare.
Please note that Mission Of One is an independent release that can be purchases at the bands page at CD Baby: http://cdbaby.com/cd/missionofone
“Run” immediately cuts in to a choppy guitar riff, advancing at a steadfast mid-tempo pace until gaining impetus for a deep and dark sounding authority-filled chorus. Howell steps forward and complements the raucous scene with a fiery guitar solo.
The open air rhythm guitar at the start of “The Worm Dieth Not” is soon joined by the bands pulsating rhythm section. The song proceeds to grind its way forward in edgy fashion, not culminating until transitioning to a sharp sounding chorus backed by an angst laden rhythm guitar.
“Hell Inside” kicks in to an abundance of snarling initiative, an up-tempo setting put in place as Wenzel’s gut level vocal delivery helps lead the way to a chorus with an infectious hook that will pull you in and refuse to let go. Howell really shines here with his impassioned work on lead guitar.
The albums metal influenced title track gets underway to a hard hitting riff before taking off in a quickly moving manner, the near frenzied tempo sustained as it plows its way to a catchy chorus in which the band makes a statement of faith:
Show me the way and I will follow
Lead me on the path that I shall take
Light my path with Your glory Lord
Fill me a peace the world can’t shake
Show me the way…
An over the top solo helps put the song over the top. The rhythm guitar is really chugging here as well.
“Lies” is a monster of a track that just plain dominates. Trudging through its verse portions with an abundance of buzz saw momentum, the song peaks for a heavy duty chorus in which Wenzel adds a nice touch of grit and grave to his delivery. The catchy riff carrying “Lies” from the start almost comes across near mesmerizing in feel. Great song.
The bluesy hard rocker “Role Of Harlots” brings to mind the old Resurrection Band track “Players” (off Civil Rights). The song fades in to several seconds of angst flavored riffing before a choppy rhythm guitar takes over, driving things ahead hard and heavy until a blues soaked chorus is reached that is delivered in good cutting fashion. Howell pulls out all the stops with a stretch of blazing lead guitar work.
“Going Home” opens to a quick drum solo prior to slowly moving forward, plodding through its first verse with the rhythm guitar playing a reduced role in the mix. As the song reaches its emotionally charged chorus, however, the rhythm guitar returns to its place of prominence in full fury. The rhythm guitar continues to carry the extent of an extended instrumental section.
Several seconds of open air rhythm guitar joined with a touch of lead guitar introduces “Go”. Maintaining the forthright impetus during its verse portions, a touch of vocal harmonies accentuates the song just prior to it reaching a decisive chorus conveying a faith based message:
I will go where You want me to go
I will live how You want me to live
I will do what You ask me to do
I will give what You ask me to give
I will follow You…
Ranking with the albums better tracks, “Go” is adorned its full length by an abundance of bluesy licks and chops buttressed by a literal wall of rhythm guitar.
“Dark Days” storms its way forward from the start to a rollicking guitar riff, advancing at a contentious mid-tempo pace before acquiring a catchy and non-stop hook driven chorus. An abundance of shredding lead guitar leaves an indelible image that will refuse to leave your head.
I really enjoy the 70s classic hard rock vibe found on “Do We Believe?”. The song slowly progresses through its verse portions with just the right amount of hard rocking impetus, not evening out until obtaining an edge filled chorus in which a snarling rhythm guitar plays a prominent role.
“Black Widow Woman” jumps out of the gate at an upbeat tempo, the fast paced momentum upheld as it quickly rages its way to a stalwart chorus delivered in a strong and no-nonsense manner. Howell highlights the scene with more of his scorching work on lead guitar. Fitting end to a very fine album.
The best way to sum up would be to state that there is a lot to like about Mission Of One and its sophomore release Show Me The Way. The songwriting is quite consistent and the lead vocals complementary in their bluesy and gritty feel. The quality of the lead work only adds to the albums appeal. That being said, the only area of improvement worth noting is a production job on the thin side. All in all, Show Me The Way comes with a strong recommendation to those into straightforward and bluesy hard rock with a decidedly eighties influenced edge.
Review by: Andrew Rockwell
Track Listing: “Run” (3:53), “The Worm Dieth Not” (3:26), “Hell Inside” (4:32), “Show Me The Way” (3:51), “Lies” (3:44), “Role Of Harlots” (4:00), “Going Home” (4:11), “Go” (5:22), “Dark Days” (4:11), “Do We Believe” (3:14), “Black Widow Woman” (3:56)
Chris Dickens – Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar & Bass
Scott Wenzel – Lead Vocals
Alisa Dodson – Vocals
Mark Howell – Lead Guitar
Darren Dickens, Bart Gardner, John Cassandro & J.D. Wagner
Also Reviewed: Mission Of One - Mission Of One