View Single Post
Old 11-12-2014, 09:59 AM   #196 (permalink)
Trollheart
Nobody likes my music
 
Trollheart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: In Cognito
Posts: 21,747
Default

Kiske does it again!


Artiste: Place Vendome
Nationality: German
Album: Thunder in the distance
Year: 2013
Label: Frontiers
Genre: Hard rock/AOR
Tracks:
Talk to me
Power of music
Broken wings
Lost in paradise
It can't rain forever
Fragile ground
Hold your love
Never too late
Heaven lost
My heart is dying
Breakout
Maybe tomorrow
Thunder in the distance

Chronological position: Third album
Familiarity: Zero with this band but a lot with its individual members' bands
Interesting factoid: Place Vendome is actually an area in Paris. Whether or not this has anything to do with why the band chose this name I don't know.
Initial impression: Interesting. Violins, then it breaks into a real power rocker. Good start.
Best track(s): It can't rain forever, Fragile ground, Hold your love, Heaven lost, My heart is dying, Maybe tomorrow, Thunder in the distance
Worst track(s): None
Comments: When I downloaded this I had no clue what it was other than it had an AOR tag. Now I find it's the band Michael Kiske formed when he left Helloween, and not only that, but members of Stratovarius, Labyrinth, Adagio and Primal Fear are also involved, some playing, some writing the songs. Impressive pedigree and I really hope this lives up to the expectations which have just appeared in my mind now considering who's in the band. This is their third album, and Kiske also apparently plays or played in another band called Unisonic with another ex-Helloweener, Kai Hansen. Small world, eh?

I always thought Kiske was the better of the two Helloween vocalists, and he shows it here from the off. The music is a little softer than the likes of his work on the seminal “Keeper of the seven keys” of course, but it's still powerful with some great guitar work from Uwe Reitenauer, and the bulk of the material here appears to be written by my mate from Eden's Curse, Allesandro del Vecchio. It's commercial of course and Helloween fans might shudder, but this is a different arena. Given that, I so far don't hear anything that blows me away. Interstingly enough, it's a song not written by ADV that impresses me first.

It can't rain forever has that classic AOR sound with a killer hook (must never have visited Ireland eh?) and really showcases Kiske's already-established vocal credentials, but proves he can also sing “soft rock” as well as heavy metal. Great keyboard work too from Gunther Werno. The next one is brilliant too and now I think we're really starting to get somewhere. Most of the tracks are good from here, some better than others. Good AOR is usually built both on great hooks and vocal harmonies, and this album has both, especially on My heart is dying, which features some heavy guitar.

There's only the one ballad, rather surprisingly, and it comes with Maybe tomorrow, some fine orchestral keyboard work in it, with the closer another strong track. Speaking of orchestral, there's an orchestral version of Maybe tomorrow as a bonus track and it's really worth listening to. For an album that started slow this really found its feet and never really looked back once it got going.
Overall impression: Great AOR album and it's great to hear Michael Kiske again.
Hum Factor: 6
Intention: Will check out their previous albums now.
__________________
Trollheart: Signature-free since April 2018

Last edited by Trollheart; 01-12-2015 at 11:17 AM.
Trollheart is offline   Reply With Quote