Stop the press! Here we have the best hard rock album of the first half of 2023 and probably of the whole year! What’s even more impressive is the fact that we’re talking about a year full of excellent hard rock releases (preceded by those of Winger and The Defiants). From the day the news of a new Extreme album leaked -15 full years since their last studio release- a general alarm was sounded in the global hard rock community. Things got even more out of hand when we got the first taste of the album with the hard rock dynamite “Rise” which won our hearts and minds for an additional reason: Nuno’s incredible solo! We all know, of course, the incredible talent of the Extreme guitarist but I personally haven’t heard such a fantastic solo since Van Halen’s “A Different Kind Of Truth” album. Easily the best hard rock solo of the last decade…simple as that!
“But what about the rest of the album?”, one might ask. Guys, we’re talking about an incredible bunch of compositions that perfectly balance between hard rock anthems and inspiring (as well as meaningful) ballads. Needless to say, Gary and Nuno steal the show and I won’t hide from you that this is the first hard rock album since the Van Halen days that I can’t wait for the track to get to the solo section so to see what Nuno has come up with (again)! It would be unfair not to give special mention to the excellent rhythm section of Pat Badger and Kevin Figueiredo who are flawless and highlighted by the crystal clear production of the album. Perhaps some might have expected more of the funky elements that characterised Extreme in the early/mid 90s but still, such is the undeniable quality of “Six” that it blows everyone’s mind right from the very first listen.
With a promotion by the label that reminds us of the good times of the music industry and an excellent album on all levels, Extreme returns in the most bombastic way and they don’t take any prisoners on their way. Eddie Van Halen would be proud!
Highlight: What a beautiful and most fitting cover sleeve!