Reviews December/04

Mike Tramp / Songs I left behind / FR CD 224


Mike Tramp - One of the most significant musicians coming out of Denmark! (click to enlarge) Tracklisting:Sometimes; Do it while you can; over and out; Love won't wait on me; If I was real; One for Anger two for Pain; Before the Night; I won't walk away; Show me; I'll be there; I don't believe anymore; What if I; Love me somebody; Think about the Times; Falling down; Darkness.

Mike Tramp went through his archives prior to his recent tour. In his drawers he was lucky finding a lot of demoes and other songs that was "left behind" for various reasons way back from 1992 and approximately 10 years forward.
On the recordings there are several musicians involved such as Kasper Damgaard (now Cornerstone), Kenny Korade (Freak of Nature) and Todd Wolfe, Steve Lukather and John Wesley on guitars, Nicholas Findsen and Jerry Best on bass, Kenni Andi, Robert Jolly, Kasper Foss and Mark Prator on drums. Mike Tramp is singing (of course) but also manages to play some guitars and bass lines here and there - he has also produced the album himself.
What is on this "Tramp-ology" album after all? Mike Tramp has collected 16 tracks of good clean rock 'n roll - covering his tendencies from folk-rock like "Before the Night" with its mellow tone and a harmonica intro and all.. to the more stripped down rockers like "Do it while you can" - but also the more U2 inspired track "One for Anger two for Pain" has a big place in my melodic heart the days. My over-all-impression to this record is that it is an essential Mike Tramp record giving the listener good value for the money - and giving us an historic view on this excellent musician's evolution from melodic hard rock icon with big hair in the White Lions days over the more hard rock sides in Freak of Nature to his more stripped down and intimite sides to his solo efforts "Capricorn" (1998), "Recovering the wasted Years" (2002) and "More to Life than this" (2003). And remember if you (like me) was a big big fan of White Lion listen to the great 10th track "I'll be there" - this is great!

Blackmore's Night / Beyond the Sunset - The romantic Collection / SPV 80000740


Ritchie Blackmore & Candice Night live from Solingen and 3 Christmas songs! (click to enlarge) Tracklisting DVD (Live material):Written in the Stars; Morning Star; Play Minstrel play; Minstrel Hall; Under a violet Moon.
Tracklisting Bonus CD (Christmas Songs):Emanuel; We three Kings; Christmas Eve.

Blackmore's Night has made a Christmas single with 3 tracks and a DVD with the romantic collection recorded live on one of the German concerts on the Castle in Solingen.
The album "Beyond the Sunset" is a perfect little Christmas gift - maybe not that hard rocking - but "Hey" how rocky can you get with flutes, backpipe, waldhorn and an acustic guitar? But you can't take the enthusiasm away from the duo Ritchie Blackmore and Candice Night and their fetish on the Medieval universe. From their debut back in 1997 "Shadow of the Moon" they have played this kind of music with great success in especially Germany and Japan. As a special bounus they have recorded 3 beautiful songs relating to the forthcoming holiday. And I like the beautiful "Christmas Eve" - on that track you can almost see the snow coming down from the sky and i get small pictures in my brain of happy singing children, burning candles and a lot of good food - I can almost taste it, too!
So if you are looking for a small gift or if you want to be good to yourself try this bouquet of ballads for lovers and dreamers. This special collection includes a free NTSC DVD sampler of the Blackmores Night show from Schloss Burg in Solingen, Germany in 5.1 Surround Sound as well as the before mentioned 3 Christmas songs! Merry Christmas, everybody!

Infinity's Call / Light in the Dark / Rock Werk Records LC 08248


Infinity's Call - Melodic hard rock with a mystical, dramatical touch and some metal elements! (click to enlarge) Tracklisting:The Gate; Land of Dreams; Magic Kingdom; Light in the Dark; Slave of Pain; Dance with the Fire; Lights in the Rainbow; Too much Time; Hear the Call; Fantasy; Open the Window; Praying Hands; Dedication.

Infinity's Call was formed in November 2001 in the south of Germany - in Ulm to be precise. This melodic metal act features the talents of amazing vocalist Eberhardt Paduch and great guitarist Philipp Zanella and bass player Uwe Hofmaier - besides the 3 key members there are two session musicians involved, too: Dieter Behle on drums and Peter Schmid on keyboards!
Mr. Paduch sometimes reminds me of Claus Lessman from fellow Germans Bonfire - but (and here I hope it is to no offense to Lessmann) Paduch is outstanding - he has a great range and sings notes that other vocalist only can imagine! According to their website all members has been in the musical environment for a long time in bands like Tyrant, Stnefield, Gravestone and Dynasty. Besides that Eberhardt Paduch has a background as a classical trained singer.
The musical ability of Infinity's Call spands from long progressive parts with a lot of tempo changes to sheer honey covered ballads - a mix of classic virtues of British kinda bands like Magnum/Ten and classic German/Mid-European hard rock like Helloween/Domain. The intro and first track "Land of Dreams" is very British inspired and "Magic Kingdom" is more in the vein of the classic German heavy metal tradition. But all in all there are a lot memorable tracks with a lot of quality in this independent release. Both musically and production-wise Infinity's Call has put a lot of effort into "Light in the Dark" - and I sincerely hope that they get a major deal one day! These guys are true pioneers and torch carriers for the genre!

Steen Peitersen 1999-2004