GIANT: Shifting Time

Okay, okay, okay. Giant is not what is typically known as a Christian band. Founding members and brothers David and Dann Huff formerly being in the Christian band White Heart notwithstanding, the lyrics were clean, they were believers in a band, so it became relevant to us Christian rockers. Maybe it was the fact that the tunes on Last of the Runaways were so awesome that we just wanted to claim them as our own. If you’re still mad that I’m reviewing the new (4th) Giant album here, please just move on and don’t be mad and boycott us or anything.

I never do this, but the story of how Giant came to resurface is so interesting and it’s told so well, I’m going to post the bio the label gave me here.

GIANT, the powerhouse rock quartet, are set to unleash their highly anticipated fifth studio album, “Shifting Time” on January 21, 2022. Now anchored by founding members David Huff and Mike Brignardello, the two are joined by guitarist John Roth (Winger, Starship) and vocalist Kent Hilli (Perfect Plan). After more than a decade since their last album, the band is back with new music that showcases their perfect blend of the melodic rock sound.

Originally formed in the late ’80s by brothers Dann and David Huff, together with the experienced jazz and rock keyboardist Alan Pasqua and Nashville session bass player Mike Brignardello, Giant would become, with the release of their debut album “Last of The Runaways” (A&M Records, 1989), one of the most respected bands of the melodic hard rock scene. Following countless live performances in support of their debut, the band released the follow-up “Time to Burn” (Epic, 1991), an album still regarded as a main source of influence for many melodic and hard rock bands who came after. With the sudden change of musical climate in the early ’90s, Giant disbanded with their members becoming involved in different projects, with both Dann and David Huff becoming well respected producers.

In 2001, Frontiers prompted Giant to release “III“, an album that would prove to be a landmark in the growth of the new era Melodic Rock scene, particularly in Europe. Unfortunately, Dann’s busy schedule along with the other members’ commitments, made the reunion impossible to carry on as had originally been planned; however, the vision of bringing Giant back as a band with a recording and touring line-up was something that the band was still open to exploring, even if Dann had to step away. Thus, original members, drummer David Huff and bassist Mike Brignardello, with the blessing of Dann started an endless research for the right musicians that could be part of a renewed Giant line-up. In the end, the choice fell on vocalist Terry Brock (ex-Strangeways) and guitarist John Roth (Winger, Starship). The resulting album, “Promise Land” soon became a fan favorite, showcasing top quality songwriting and performances. Giant, however, went into hibernation again, with the exception of a one-off show in 2017, where the original band members reunited on a Nashville club stage for a charity event.

That event piqued fan interest and Frontiers and David Huff started talking again to see if they could manage to find the right formula for a new album from Giant. When the Swedish band Perfect Plan released a cover version of the Giant’s original hit “Stay” in 2019, then all pieces of the puzzle started to fall into place. Huff and Brignardello were keen on the idea of Kent handling lead vocals for the next Giant release. Dann Huff gave his seal of approval, appearing on lead guitar on the single “Never Die Young.” Kent also brought his songwriting talents to the fold and together with other songwriters such as Alessandro Del Vecchio, Kristian Fyhr, and Pete Alpenborg (and contributions from Jonas Eriksson and Mike Palace), the resulting album is an absolute joy and delight for melodic rock ears!

“We have worked so hard and we are very happy and proud of this record, along with Dann”, says David Huff.

Truly the production, songwriting, and performances shine throughout “Shifting Time“.

Shifting Time” was mixed and mastered by Alessandro Del Vecchio for Frontiers Productions.


Shifting Time
Let Our Love Win
Never Die Young
Don’t Say A Word
My Breath Away
Highway Of Love
It’s Not Over
The Price Of Love
Standing Tall
Anna Lee
Don’t Wanna Lose You
I Walk Alone

Total length: 0.48.02

Kent Hilli – Vocals
John Roth – Guitars
Mike Brignardello – Bass
David Huff – Drums

I don’t know if Time to Burn was an epic album or not, but I sure love the melodic hard rock sound these guys major in. I guess being in-demand sessions players and producers comes in handy when it comes to writing songs with great hooks and melodies in them.

The titletrack here doesn’t start off with the blistering finger-picking of “I’m A Believer,” but it’s just as epic, with a soft keyboard backdrop and Roth’s amazing, melodic string bending. It’s just an intro, as “Let Our Love Win” chimes in with everything power AOR is known for. Vocalist Kent Hilli sounds a touch similar to Dann Huff, but all his own with a smooth and powerful voice. I bet Huff would’ve appreciated not having to pull double duty. Early stories of the band’s formation tell of his reluctance to fill-in as lead vocalist back in the day, which just stuck. There’s no step backwards in this personnel change. By the time the chorus hits, this song has sunk in as a super welcome return from Giant. This would be enough alone, but there’s a good dozen songs to enjoy here.

“Never Die Young” keeps the bar high. Hilli sounds a touch like Joe Lynn Turner here. The chorus and riffs are somewhat reminiscent of the fictitious band Steel Dragon (or early Dio-fronted Rainbow). “Don’t Say A Word” introduces the rest of the band, or at least the background vocals sound like a choir of hard rockers with perfect pitch.

“My Breath Away” captures that romantic longing. “How do I live without your love?” These guys are professionals. You could just put their photograph in the online dictionary under the heading of AOR, arena rock, or melodic hard rock. If Bon Jovi is not going to release anything new, they should all hold a press conference, wearing Giant t-shirts and announce to the world that they are not needed – as long as Giant is releasing material like this.

“Highway of Love” starts off with that cool, swampy, Southern sound that invites the listener in. The chorus melody reminds these ears of that fictitious band Steel Dragon (another reference) and their infectious ballad, “We All Die Young.”

“The Price of Love” has a beautiful melodic guitar lead intro. It’s a soft-starter, much like the classic “See You In My Dreams” from the fabulous debut album. Even the lead-off vocals are reminiscent in tone and range. The chorus uses a myriad of voices, sounding a little like Kiss or Firehouse or a dozen other melodic metal / AOR bands from the ’80s.

This is just a darn feel-good album.

After purchasing Time to Burn back in ’91 and being disappointed, I didn’t trust Giant to deliver something this satisfying. Brother, was I wrong!

About Author