Samson

1993

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This album's bogus non-title (alternately 1993 or just plain Samson) speaks volumes for its contents as well: a mediocre and lackadaisical set featuring hard rock by numbers -- barely worthy of this once pioneering New Wave of British Heavy Metal group's name, much less its final studio effort ever, as it turned out. Nearly ten years before his unfortunate passing from cancer, guitarist Paul Samson made the dubious decision to handle lead vocals himself for the first time since 1979's debut, Survivors, but on the upside, managed to recall longtime bassist Chris Aylmer to lend some greater legitimacy to this otherwise forgettable outing. Bottom line, bluesy hard rockers such as "Hey You," "Back to You," and "It Ain't Fair" sound dialed in by a group simply sleepwalking through the motions, with Paul's Joe Perry-like voice doing them little favors. Of course, his guitar playing is another matter, but in an era characterized by six-string shredding monoliths like Joe Satriani and Steve Vai, Paul's classy, understated style fell way short of reigning guitar hero perceptions. An ignominious goodbye in every sense, one might say, and it's quite tragic that Samson's subsequent live triumphs and eventual reunion with vocalist Nicky Moore and drummer Thundersticks arrived too shortly before Paul's demise to allow for a full album's worth of new material to be recorded.

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