Worldview formed in Los Angeles when George Rene Ochoa (Deliverance, Recon, Vengeance Rising) and Rey Parra (Sacred Warrior) spoke soon after their mutual friend Rick Macias (Sacred Warrior) passed away. He had always encouraged them to form a band together even though they lived miles apart. So George and Rey decided to form a band to honour their friend and thus Worldview was born.
George Rene Ochoa (guitars, keyboards & backing vocals) and Rey Parra (lead vocals) completed the line-up with John Gonzales (Recon, Deliverance) on drums and Todd Libby on bass guitar and keyboards. Ronson Webster also joined them as co-songwriter and background vocal guru. Worldview originally formed in January 2013 and released their first single in March 2013. But the road to releasing an album is not always as straight-forward as you might expect, with the much anticipated release seeing the light of day on 22 May 2015. Their style has been described as modern metal which is vocally harmonized, engaging, head pounding and fist pumping.
This release is also packed with a host of celebrity guest players: Oz Fox (Stryper) playing a blazing lead guitar, Les Carlsen (Bloodgood) laying down a dramatic guest vocal, Jimmy P. Brown (Deliverance) cutting some low and powerful background vocals. Larry Farkas (Vengeance Rising, Die Happy) shredding with his tasty licks, Armand Meinbardis (Rob Rock) from the country of Latvia, dazzling with his violin and piano playing, and Niki Bente gracing the record with her lovely voice on the title track. It was mixed and mastered by Bill Metoyer (Slayer, Sacred Reich, Tourniquet, Trouble, Armored Saint, Deliverance) and produced by George Rene Ochoa. It is worth noting that the last time these two worked together was for the legendary Deliverance “Weapon’s Of Our Warfare” album.
The album opener, ’Mortality’, has a drum rhythm that transports you to Egypt and the pyramids. “Out of dust they came / Unto the dust they shall return / Leaders rise and fall / History revealed their legacy / Wake up! / They celebrate with their glass held high / When judgment comes / They will soon know why”. Then the crunchy guitars kick in and we are on an epic romp based on the immense power and wealth of the pharaohs as Rey Parra’s vocals soar. It is notable for the progressive instrumental section giving space for keyboard and guitar riffing before the chorus bursts forth. “All earthly kingdoms end / How the mighty have fallen / Why is it that men can’t face their mortality? / They build great monuments and statues of glory / Pride and arrogance deceive immortality”.
‘Illusions of Love’ increases the tempo and has a more aggressive guitar attack. It has harsh backing vocals that verge on growling. “You are the one that gets under my skin”. Then ‘Back In Time’ takes a nostalgic hard rock trip back to the eighties (in a good way). And to help them on their way is Oz Fox.
There is another Middle East influenced rhythm in ‘The Mirror’. “Who am I / Please show me who I am / Because I know there is something more to this ordinary man / help me understand, who is this man in the mirror”. They also have Jimmy P Brown II of Deliverance on background vocals. Then its time for the smouldering ‘Why’, which has plenty of guitar interplay complimenting the vocal harmonics. The vocals take a lower register for ‘Prisoner Of Pain’ with gang vocals, squalling guitars and weighty keyboards reminiscent of Jon Lord (Deep Purple). It brightens up in ‘Two Wonders’ which has more tones of light and shade. “Two wonders I confess / The wonder of redeeming love / And my unworthiness / Yet You still died for me”.
The guitars have more bite in ‘Walk Through Fire’ and Rey Parra’s vocals return with full force making this another heavyweight. There are several of guests on ‘The Chosen One’ which starts out at a slower, reflective pace with Niki Bente’s intricate vocals intertwining with the guitar and piano. It swells and builds with multiple crescendos and is their most progressive track. It is back to muscular riffing in the slower paced ‘The Last Cry’ as they take you to Calvary. Rey makes a powerful delivery as his voice soars. “My God why’d You forsake me / Not my will but let Your will be done”. The latter half increases the tempo and consists of swarthy guitar riffing which lets you dwell on the weight of the words that have been delivered.
Reviewed by Peter John Willoughby
02. Illusions of Love
03. Back in Time
04. The Mirror
06. Prisoner of Pain
07. Two Wonders
08. Walk Through Fire
09. The Chosen Few
10. The Last Cry
Johnny Gonzales – Drums, Percussion
Todd Libby – Bass guitar, Keyboards
George Rene Ochoa – Guitars, Keyboards, Background Vocals
Rey Parra – Lead Vocals
Oz Fox [Stryper] – Lead guitar on “Back in Time” (2nd lead)
Les Carlsen [Bloodgood] – Bridge vocals on “The Chosen Few”
Larry Farkas [ex. Vengeance Rising] – Lead guitar on “Prisoner of Pain” (1st lead)
Jimmy P Brown II [Deliverance] – Backing Vocals on “The Mirror” (2nd and 3rd chorus)
Ronson Webster – Keyboards, Background Vocals
Armand Melnbardis [Rob Rock] – Piano on “The Chosen Few”, Violin on “Back in Time”
Niki Bente – Female vocals on “The Chosen Few”
Produced by: George Rene Ochoa
Mixed and mastered by: Bill Metoyer [Fates Warning, Slayer, W.A.S.P.]
Artwork by: Felipe Machado Franco [Blind Guardian, Rhapsody of Fire, Jorn]
Record Label: M24 Music Group, May 2015
Video below ‘Mortality’
Video below “The Chosen Few” (Album Teaser)