Extreme 2023 album Six art

Extreme – Six (Album Review)

Extreme band photo 2023

One of the more recognized bands from the mid-80s era of Rock, Extreme has a lot going for them. Standing out, many of course remember Extreme 1990’s Extreme II: Pornograffitti album which featured the mega hit “More Than Words.” A song that is the quintessential power ballad, oddly is it not completely representative of the band’s sound.

Featuring Gary Cherone on vocals, who would eventually join up with Van Halen between 1996-99, and virtuoso Guitarist Nuno Bettencourt, Extreme are pouring over with talent. Unfairly lumped in with the Glam Metal scene that was tailing off in the early ‘90s, their sound was exceptionally diverse; mixing Funk, Blues, Rock, and Metal all together. Showcasing that well on each of the three albums to follow Extreme II: Pornograffitti in the ‘90s era, Extreme would only put out one more full-length thereafter in 2008 with Saudades de Rock.

Sustaining hiatuses, hope was never lost that new music was coming. In fact, in 2015 it was reported the band was demoing new music. However, it has been fifteen long years since Saudades de Rock, and still nothing new emerged. Then in early 2023 there were rumbles that new material was coming. Was it fools gold or real? Open door number two… because it was real, and on June 9th the album Six arrived.

Cleverly named Six, being their sixth overall studio album, the new collection features a lineup of Cherone, Bettencourt, along with Pat Badger on bass and Kevin Figueiredo on drums. Together they bring twelve new songs together all produced by Bettencourt himself and released via EarMUSIC. An exciting prospect for long-time fans, the first dose would come with the lead single “Rise” on March 1st, and boy was it powerful. In fact, it drew so much attention that the music video crossed one million views in its first week! 

Following were the release of “#Rebel” and “Banshee” in April, both showing Hard Rock elements and outstanding riffs. This was followed by the softer side of Extreme with “Other Side of the Rainbow” in May, certainly pleasing more mainstream listeners.

These four songs were introduced prior to Six’s release, but the remainder of the record is really full of surprises. There are so many different elements explored on these songs and Extreme shows that their style can change at the drop of a hat with each of these songs. This is evident with the electronic elements of “Thicker Than Blood” and “X” to the catchy Pop song “Beautiful Girls.” All really a lot of fun, there are also more subtle tones heard, including “Hurricane”; which just recently had a music video released for it.

All in all, Six is an album that really blows any expectations out of the water. It is diverse, keeps you on your toes, and truly a blast to listen to. A product of very well-crafted songwriting, killer guitar work by Bettencourt, and interplaying vocals between himself and Cherone, this could be one of the best Rock albums of 2023. That is why Cryptic Rock gives Six 5 out of 5 stars.

Extreme's Six album cover, gorilla
Extreme – Six / EarMUSIC (2023)

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