"Vox Dominatas" (MTM; 1999)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Guild of Ages, formerly known as Caught in the Act or CITA (as is plainly printed on the front of the CD insert) play a successful brand of melodic hard rock the likes of which you've heard with Night Ranger, Bon Jovi, etc. 

"Vox Dominatas" is another collection of their guitar-driven, melodic rock songs and, like "One," "Vox Dominatas" isn't bad. When it rocks, it rocks pretty well. When it slows down (as it does on tracks 6 and 7, "Wish That I Was There" and "Set Me Free" respectively) it's gets a little dull. "I've seen it all before," sings lead vocalist Danny Martinez and, in the case of the listener, we've heard it all before. That's not a bad thing if that's just what you're looking for and, if you're looking for solid, if not outstanding, melodic hard rock, "Vox Dominatas" will probably suit you just fine.

The production here, as in many AOR recordings, is above-average, with the instruments and vocals balanced nearly perfectly and everything sounding crisp and clear throughout. Songs like "Waiting for the Dawn" sound rich and full. 

Also included, strangely enough, is a cover of Duran Duran's "Hungry Like the Wolf," which is one of the CD's highlights.

Again, fans of AOR will probably find much to like here. As I stated above, "Vox Dominatas" isn't a bad album, but it's not a great one either. It's just good and sometimes you need more than just good.

Guild of Ages: Anthony Trujillo - guitar, vocals; Steve Stuntz - drums, vocals; Danny Martinez - vocals, guitar; James Lostetter - bass, vocals.

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"One" (NEH; 1998)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Guild of Ages are pure, straight-forward, slick melodic rock'n'roll. And they're damn good at it. The songs are well-written, well-performed and instantly recognizable. It's the kind of stuff that some metal fans hate ("Corporate rock sucks!") and the kind of thing that other fans can't get enough of.

The guitars are smooth yet chunky enough; the songs are fast-paced without coming anywhere near speed metal and the choruses and verses are (gasp!) singable. 

Fans of melodic rock in the line of Axe, Bon Jovi and Night Ranger will find a lot to like with Guild of Ages. Anyone who doesn't like the above-listed bands best look and listen elsewhere.

Guild of Ages is: Danny Martinez - vocals and guitar; Anthony "Antz" Trujillo - guitar, vocals, keyboards; James Lostetter - bass and vocals; Steve Stuntz - drums and vocals.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2003 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
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