Mighty Los Angeles-born, guitar-driven, heavy metal icons, ALCATRAZZ, announce the release of their fifth studio album, aptly titled V, which is set for release via Silver Lining Music on October 15th, 2021.
In advance of the release of V, ALCATRAZZ today unveils new single/video, “Sword Of Deliverance,” and as far as lead statements go, it’s one hell of a reminder that when ALCATRAZZ is firing on all cylinders with all guns blazing, they are a vital part of any metalhead’s day. And there is little doubt that ALCATRAZZ 2021, featuring Doogie White on vocals, founding members Jimmy Waldo and Gary Shea on keyboards and bass respectively, Mark Benquechea on drums, and Joe Stump on guitar, are the chemistry causing the musical fire.
“‘Sword Of Deliverance’ is a mighty, metal monument,” affirms White, “a call to arms for the ALCATRAZZ collective. Loud, proud, and ready!”
Formed in 1983, ALCATRAZZ became famous for its blend of melodic and progressive rock and for introducing guitar heroes Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai. Emerging in 1983 with No Parole From Rock ‘N’ Roll, which featured the hit “Island In The Sun,” the band continued building popularity in 1985 with their sophomore effort, Disturbing The Peace, which contained the hit, “God Blessed Video.” The band issued one more studio LP, 1986’s Dangerous Games, before ceasing operations the following year. The band regrouped and released highly acclaimed Born Innocent in 2020, their first studio album containing all-new material since 1986.
While Born Innocent was a smart and strong return to the studio, there is a synergy and crackle about V which shows a band both in lockstep with each other and back in love with the writing process.
“We all are very happy with the new album. We were all on the same page about the direction and what we were trying to accomplish,” notes Waldo. “We had over twenty songs to pick from. It was tough; we liked them all. That’s very unusual for a band. I think this album sounds like the natural progression from No Parole, only heavier.”
Both vintage and timeless, V treads the ALCATRAZZ textured territories of old but with renewed vigor and verve. Whether it be the choral-echoes sitting inside the storming tempest which is “Nightwatch,” the staunch, speedy melodic metal of “Turn Of The Wheel,” or the thick, bluesy chug of “House Of Lies,” there is little doubt that this ALCATRAZZ is going full-tilt with not one ounce of a shackle holding them back. In that regard, White’s supreme vocal work on all twelves tracks serves as the catalyst for their creative synergy and his supremely positive energy brings the band closer than it has been since, well, 1986!
“The addition of Doogie is a natural transition for the ALCATRAZZ legacy,” states Shea. “He is a hard-working professional who loves to sing and doesn’t shy away from deadlines. His long list of career achievements is the perfect fit for us as we have been leading parallel lives all these years creating music. I am looking forward to bringing this new powerful line-up on the road.”
Over the course of three-plus decade career, the Scottish-born White is undoubtably one of the finest vocalists in hard rock, having fronted Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force, Tank, and Michael Schenker. It is therefore no surprise to hear him dovetail so easily with ALCATRAZZ, indeed, it feels like the most natural of career progressions.
There is little doubt that besides the work of White, much is going to be quite rightly said about the scintillating performance of Joe Stump throughout V, and it feels as though he’s truly found his place alongside previous ALCATRAZZ guitar gods, Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai. Every riff is supremely sharp and every solo carries with it platinum sovereignty, whether engaging in the shred or delivering a more nuanced lead break.
“I really enjoy playing with Joe; he’s not only a great player but a great writer as well,” enthuses Waldo. “He’s really fun to tour and work with. He plays with tons of energy live, kind of the ‘take no prisoners’ vibe.”
Produced by Giles Lavery and Jimmy Waldo, and mixed by Andy Haller (Elton John, Joe Cocker, System Of A Down), V also includes guest appearances from Saxon’s Nigel Glockler (drums on “Guardian Angel” and “Blackheart”), Tank’s Cliff Evans (bass on “Grace Of God”), and Donnie Van Stavern of Riot (bass on “Guardian Angel,” “Nightwatch,” and “Target”), underscoring how perennially popular ALCATRAZZ’s music remains with their peers. V stands for ALCATRAZZ’s fifth studio album of course… but it also stands just as resolutely for Victory; the victory that sees ALCATRAZZ 2021 stronger than ever despite all the odds.