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March 25, 2024

Extreme Six

via VintageGuitar

Extreme’s sixth studio album – their first since 2008’s Saudades de Rock – was a long time coming. With only a live album released in 2016 to satiate disciples, Six is a recording that will satisfy the devout, yet pique interest from late-to-the-party fans. Vocalist Gary Cherone, bassist Pat Badger, and guitarist supreme Nuno Bettencourt return full of fiery piss and vinegar, while Kevin Figueiredo has replaced original drummer Paul Geary.

Extreme retains its penchant for mixing extroverted, in-your-face anthems with mellow singer/songwriter ballads; this record even adds splashes of modern metal and superb production. “Rise,” with its heavy riffage and clever arrangements, succeeds in setting Nuno up for the kind of guitar interludes that have made him a guitar legend. Hyper-speed alternate picking, muted legato burps, and slap-back delay licks provide a dazzling display of post-Van Halen ecstasy. “#Rebel” and “Banshee” keep the intensity flowing until “Other Side Of The Rainbow” and “Small Town Beautiful” remind listeners that Extreme are, in reality, sensitive singer-songwriters disguised as head-banging arena rockers. “Thicker Than Blood” has industrial and electronic earmarks. Bottom line: Whether he’s man-handling signature superstrats or elegantly fingerpicking an acoustic on “Hurricane,” Nuno is incredible.