Johnny Lokke - Promises and Lies
Big Riff Records
Heavy Metal
12 songs (47:00)
Release year: 2010
Reviewed by Cory

First a disclaimer: I have not heard any of Johnny Lokke’s previous material, so this review is a purely unbiased look at his most recent release, Promises and Lies. In his bio Johnny Lokke claims to play classic heavy metal, free of any extraneous influences save the bare essentials of dual guitar harmonies, driving bass lines, and pounding drum work. Nothing stands between the listener and the pure traditional metal on display, and after repeat listens I can say without a doubt that this man delivers the goods as advertised.

Promises and Lies is a melting pot, and it did not take long to spot the different influences that took place in its creation. Throughout the album I found moments that directly reminded me of Dio, Halford (solo material), Judas Priest, Iron Maiden (musically, not vocally), Metal Church, and on and on. It’s as though Lokke's sole purpose is to pay homage to any and all of 80’s classic heavy metal, and if so then he succeeds. Accident of One and Burning the Wheel are stand out tracks, blending Judas Priest influenced riffing with Dio styled vocal’s. The Next Revolution and Starchaser’s follow closely behind, reminding me of Bruce Dickinson’s solo material. Lokke even pays direct homage to Halford by extending his vocals into shrieking territory on Heal Me. Each song draws a direct influence from some nameable source, and perhaps that is where Promises and Lies shows its weak point. While the music ranges from great to decent throughout, nothing sounds original. Every song reminded me of something else, another album I had heard, or another band. Originality is the missing ingredient.

I believe Johnny Lokke has accomplished exactly what he set out to do, in that Promises and Lies is a solid collection of songs that both rock hard and pay homage to the fore-fathers of traditional heavy metal. In doing so, it sacrifices an identity of its own and fails to register any lasting impression beyond immediate gratification. So ultimately, as with anything else, it is up to the listener to decide just what value should be placed on the experience of listening to this album. For me, I enjoy the feeling it invokes as it blazes through songs that remind me of the early days of metal, yet after the disc has finished spinning I put it away and replace it with one of the albums that it so expertly imitates, yet can never replace.

Killing Songs :
Accident of One, State of Pain, Starchasers, Burning the Wheel
Cory quoted 77 / 100
0 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are 2 replies to this review. Last one on Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:11 pm
View and Post comments