A rather freaky concept for an hard rock title, even corporate with say, Higher Than is a renewed travel to 80’s Glam Metal, with a fast-track metal feeling attached to it.
The voice high treble toned, the drums quick-paced, a low profile bass enables the constant presence of the guitar duo, rhythm and lead. Purgatory Airlines strongly resembles a dark side of Appetite Destruction, with a guitar pushed to edge, and quite less technical and bluesy.
In its own way, Purgatory Airlines, it’s a trip of the french quintet to southern American rock standards, in a very hard Black Star Riders/Black Stone Cherry kind of way. The record brings all that you hope for in those kind of standards, strong Riffs, military-recruit- like chorus, and clean guitar solos. In fact, there is little room for other instruments, as the key driving elements of each and every track are both the guitar and voice. Its a small downside, as you can see that in some tracks, for instance as «R.I.S.K Taker» there was room for other instruments to grow, particularly the drums.
And in playing such role, especially the guitar does not fail in pursuing it. The riffs are catchy, and some would say still melodical, and powerful, and utmost catchy. They have the intuit skill of grasping your ear very early on. Sometimes they break down the riff in a spiral and with a well crafted left-hand technique, like in the beginning of «Unchained Tiger» or «Room Service».
On top of that, the solo skills are very solid, very aligned with song structure, very hard (like in «You Gotta Make A Choice») or ballad-styled (like in «Near& Far»).
On the other hand you have the vocal performance. In my personal taste I believe the voice still does not meet the challenge, but that is because I personally prefer a very much lower, darker kind-of-grungy voice. Still one cannot say that it is entirely misplaced, and is very well covered by the back chorus.
In a word, Purgatory Airlines is a record that suits perfectly its genre, filled with adrenaline, and the old straight to the grave philosophy of old hard rock. Hence it makes it self enjoyable and entertaining, and delivering what it is promised, without bringing greater magic. Still it is good and deserves and open listen.