Reviews April/02

Hughes Turner Project / HTP / MTM Music 0681-46


Hughes Turner Project Tracklisting:Devil's Road; You can't stop Rock n' Roll; Missed your Name; Mystery of the Heart; Sister Midnight; Better Man; Heaven's missing an Angel; Fade away; Ride the Storm; Run Run Run; On the Ledge.

Glenn Hughes and Joe Lynn Turner are like fire & gasoline - explosive! On this potent album the two main "actors" combine the highlights of their career from the far past in Trapeze, Rainbow and the common playground Deep Purple to the more recent solo releases. Last year bassist/vocalist Glenn Hughes released "Building the Machine" and it was one of his strongest albums ever - and I think Joe Lynn Turner turned more heavy last year with "Slam" - and besides that he is one of my all time favorite vocalist - so it is a very good foundation for a good record - and it is!
On the record they are joined by J.J. Marsh on guitar, Vince DiCola on keyboard and Shane Gaalaas on drums. But they have also invited a few special guests like Paul Gilbert who plays the solo on "You can't stop Rock n' Roll", John Sykes who plays guitar on "Heaven's missing an Angel" and Akira Kajiyama who play a solo on "Ride the Storm" - all first class musicians who lift the album to a higher level, especially Mr. Gilbert's fret work is impressing!.
The songs on the album are very authentic and powerful - on the rockier side there are tracks like "Devil's Road", "Ride the Storm" and "Run Run Run" and the more soulful ballads like "Mystery of the Heart" and "Fade away" - not to forget the almost Whitesnakesque "Heaven's missing an Angel" - great. I must say I personally like the rockier side of the album, it allows Mr Turner to shine, but in the middle section of the record there are a few tracks that Hughes is too involved in. I can't really bear his falsetto, sorry!!
But fortunately the best is yet to come - the last track "On the Ledge" is absolutely a monster - the hammond organ, the guitars, the vocals are all great. The beginning and the end of the album saves it for me! So all in all I will recommend this release to everybody who is hooked on the two main characters Glenn Hughes's and Joe Lynn Turner's solo efforts - but also fans of the classic rock song! They will hopefully continue this project in the future.

Amun Re / Magic Kingdom / Real Treat Records 0812


Amun Re - Progessive melodic rock from Austria! Tracklisting:Bad Dream; Shadowhunter; Anathema; Reach for the Stars; Avalon; Twilight Pyramid; Child of the Light; I wish It back again; Diablo; Under dark Skies; Magic Kingdom + a hidden track.

Amun Re from Austria is a very bright new band - playing symphonic AOR. Combining the melodic sides with the progressive ones, circulating around the subject of the Pyramids and ancient Egypt tales - clever!
This independent release was a total surprise to me, due to the fact that it has a very good production, the songs are strong and the lyrics are all intelligent. Besides the band seems very mature - and features six musicians from the Southern of Austria - Simon Reinthaler on drums, Wolfgang Schweiger on guitars, Thomas Kleinander on bass, Andreas Senkl on keyboards and the double vocalists Sandra Ebner and Norbert Sigart. This double vocal works out very well the musical concept of the band allows Mr. Sigart to be main vocalist but supplied elegantly by the melodic sensual Sandra Ebner - singing just as authentic and elegant as Candice Night.
There are a lot of musical highlights here - but the big piano driven "Reach for the Stars" is one of my favorites. But the start is also very powerful with the two songs "Bad Dream" and "Shadowhunter" making the foundation to a very special experience - with a musical expression that is very unique and Amun Re has proven that they can add a few things to the the AOR scene as well as the melodic rock and the progressive ones! So their sources of inspiration could be everything from Danish prog-rockers Royal Hunt over Kansas and to Swedish melodic band Broke[N]Blue.
So hopefully this excellent band will find a record deal - because only the sky is the limit with a label behind them!

Vital Sign / Vital Sign / POL Music VSCD001


Vital Sign - Swedish Christian melodic Hard Rock!! Tracklisting:Welcome to my Party; Wherever you go; Never hide; You died in my Place; Lead my Way; Give your Life; Hold on tight; I'm a Soldier; Sweet Lord; Hallelujah.

Vital Sign from Sweden has a proclaimed Christian entrance and mission in the world of music. And what an entrance I must add - the record is self-produced and -financed but from the first stoke of the first song "Welcome to the (upper) Party" this melodic AOR band show us why so many Swedish band is around this genre - they have a very rare flair for combining powerful music with a good melody - and this quintet has the musicianship to deliver the goods!!
Vital Sign is Jens Lundvik on vocals, Svenne Mårtensson on guitars, Rune Bertilsson on keyboards, P O Larsson on bass and Ralf Bjurbo on drums - and the only name I know here is Lundvik who also sings in Swedish pop/rock band B.I.G also featuring Peo Thyrén from Easy Action.
This five rebels with a higher cause are very much inspired by the classic sound of the 80's - the keyboard is very much in focus on tracks like "Never hide" for example - but there are more highlights on this beautifully produced record, I have especially noticed the powerful ballad "You died in my Place", and the heavy "Lead my Way", which is an absolute killer - great!
So this self-financed, self-produced and self-titled album is absolutly worth buying - so get in touch with Vital Sign - you won't regret it, if you are fan of Scandic-rock with a melodic approach and a good sense of melody! Besides that I like music with an attitude, "mission" and a purpose, and Vital Sign as said is a Christian band and they are serious in every aspect of their life - and especially the music is serious and great!

© Steen Peitersen 1999-2002