American singer David Reece, the former voice of "Accept" caused quite a stir in the melodic rock circles in 2008 as the lead singer of "Gypsy Rose" arguably laying his best ever performance on their second album "Another World". It is no wonder that Reece would become a much sought after name amongst artistic circles as he already took part on Metal Heaven's "Voices of Rock II" project, while at the same time claiming a solo career debuting with "Universal language".
The album, although slightly experimental, flows very naturally; in total it is a very relaxed performance when compared to "Gypsy Rose", perhaps a bit too relaxed as one would expect at least two or three aggressive songs in the vein of "Accept" or "Gypsy Rose" which unfortunately are not present here. In fact "Universal Language" leans more to the bluesy-hard rock sound of early "Whitesnake" which is not really surprising considering that David can easily stand toe to toe with the other, more famous, David (Coverdale). And there are quite a few strong tracks on this one: "Before I die", "Flying too Close to the flame", "I'll remember you" and "We were alive".
Furthermore Reece is the second ex-Accept member to debut his solo career in 2009 as guitarist Herman Frank also put out his first solo album "Loyal to none" in May and in comparison I have to say that "Universal Language" falls a bit short in terms of energy, aggression and overall performance flamboyancy. For that I have to give it four stars.
In conclusion, a very cohesive debut without a single bad song while all choruses are cleverly planned and well executed. The bluesy hard rock approach is more than welcome being a well tested approach by some of rock's greatest bands; still from a musician who has served in the "Accept" camp one would have expected more metallic riffs and definitely a more aggressive rhythm section.
A definite must for fans of early "Whitesnake" and "Coverdale- Page".