Tony Mills - Over My Dead Body

Tony Mills Over My Dead Body cover
Tony Mills
Over My Dead Body
Battlegod Productions
Tony Mills has cut quite a figure, mainly as the singer of Shy, but also for replacing classic TNT singer, Tony Harnell in TNT and for the involvement he had in several other bands, like Siam, Dockers Guild, China Blue, Serpentine and Nergard.
A few years ago, he suffered a mild heart attack, while in a Norwegian airport, which seems to have had a profound effect on him. Instead of keeping the whole ordeal to himself, that moment of near mortality, actually seems to have inspired him, into creating a concept album, about the whole ordeal, which, I suppose, can be taken as a bit idiosyncratic. The same can be mentioned for the slightly disturbing cover of the album, which depicts a sex-less, naked Mills, almost “crucified” upside down... (make of it what you will, in terms of symbolism). To aid him in turning this dark “trip” into a musical reality a cast of musicians from the States and Scandinavia, are employed, like Paul Sabu, Henning Ramseth (Return, Ram-Zet), Robert Sall (W.E.T., Work of Art), Andreas Passmark (Royal Hunt), Douglas Docker (Dockers Guild), Andreas Nergard, Victor Borge and Sid Ringsby (T.N.T.). Producer Neil Kernon (Dokken, Shy, Aviator, Queensryche) took control of the mixing, as well as fretless bass.
The overall tone of the album is quite dark (expectedly) while Mills goes on about his normal business vocally. The music on the album is neither metal nor hard rock, but switches depending on the song. Fact of the matter because of the whole atmosphere and Kernon’s involvement, I must say that the album reminded me a little of Queensryche’s “more introspective” works, like “Promised Land” not as much as the musical direction is concerned, but mostly because of the overall atmosphere it “creates”… it’s hard to dissect the album down to certain tracks, because of its conceptual nature... but certain tracks end up being a bit more key in the story.
Opener “Time Won’t Wait” works as an introduction, while “28 Flights” with its slightly overbearing nature makes, you feel like you’re sinking... “We Should Be on by Now” and “No Love Lost” are more ballad like in nature and “My Death” is deep and pondering... “Bitter Suite” in it’s simple serene form, with harmonized vocals, sounds almost pastoral, “4 in the Morning” feels somewhat TNT’esque, in a way, but more prog oriented... while “Somewhere in London” feels like a return to familiarity and reality. Last but not least, “Free Spirits” offers a much needed release, from all the tension, the album has been building; its cathartic melody, cleansing the soul...
Obviously a deeply personal album for Mills, but highly uneven, as an offering… there are a lot of good aspects about this album, but by its nature alone it’s not some lighthearted listen and would require your undivided attention.