Reviews from February/00

Pink Cream 69 / Sonic Dynamite / Massacre Records CD0230


Pink Cream 69 - Sonic Dynamite Tracklisting:Passage to Hope (intro); Seas of Madness; Followed by the Moon; Sonic Dynamite; The Spirit; Speed of Light; Waiting for the Dawn; Let the Thunder reside; Lost in Illusions; Face of an Angel; Shattered Prophecy; Spread your Wings.

German melodic hard rock at its best! That is how I will describe Pink Cream 69's 7th release - their 4th with "new" singer british David Readman, who replaced Andy Deris back in 1994.
In my part of the world I first took serious notice of the german quartet as they were playing on former Royal Hunt singer D.C. Coopers solo-record. They did a good job then and "Sonic Dynamite" is no exception - good songs, nice arrangements and excellent musicianship.
As a whole the album covers all areas of the groups trademarks: It's melodic but hard-hitting, well arranged, good produced by bassist Dennis Ward and perfectly performed.
"Sonic Dynamite" (the titletrack) and "Seas of Madness" is up-tempo rockers that goes hand in hand with groovy things like "Waiting for the Dawn" and "Lost in Illusions". But one of the groups cornerstones is the ballads - they deliver them with elegance and authority - this time around they are called "Spread your Wings" and " Let the Thunder Reside".
According to their press-release, Pink Cream 69 starts an explosive tour with new labelmates Axxis and Balance of Power - so I am looking forward to see and hear this lot around in 2000.
"Sonic Dynamite" is a very good release - I think it's their best so far!

William Stravato / Survivor / 99th Floor VR-04


William Stravato - Survivor Tracklisting:Icarus suicide; Anthropomorphic pancake; Cats; Brainstorm; Midnite Jam; 'Cause we ended as lovers (by Stevie Wonder); No turnin' back; Isolation.

It is not everyday that an Italian axe-hero is in my CD-player - but William Stravato is an exception.
The music on this release is very powerful, delicate and emotional. According to the notes on the innersleeve "Signore" Stravato is a guitar-teacher from Rome and is capable of covering all styles and genres - from the off-beat and jazz influenced "Cats" to the powerful and very quick opener "Icarus Suicide". His many influences shows themselves by covering the track "Cause we endes as Lovers" by Stevie Wonder!
Stravato has a group around him with an bassplayer and a drummer but on the album several guests appears and Michael Angelo former Nitro guitar-swinger plays the solos on "No turnin' back".
All in all a very good instrumental release that covers a lot of genres from jazz to speed rock but with an good sense of melody but also featuring a lot of guitar-masturbation. William explains this release very well with a little poem and I'll let that be the last words on this:
"In the Planet of my Heart there is a world of colors and powerful sensations that Words could never express. I found Music the easiest way to do it."

Stratovarius / Hunting high and low / Nuclear Blast 27361 64632


Stratovarius - Hunting high and low 1. single from "Infinite" Tracklisting:Hunting high and low; Millennium; Neon Light Child; Hunting high and low (demo version); Millennium (demo version).

"Hunting high and low" is a very promising first release from the upcoming album "Infinite" by finnish progressive/melodic rockers Stratovarius featuring swedish keyboard wizzard Jens Johansson and german powerdrummer Jörg Michael. This first singletrack features all element that makes and defines Stratovarius - a good melody, an exceptional singer and extraordinary musicianship by all members.
Besides "Hunting high and low" this CD also features "Millennium" from the forthcoming album and a little bonus track by the quiet "Neon Light Child" and two domoversions of the first two. The demos is rather enjoyable because of their rawness and is very close to a live-version.
I think it is funny to follow the process of making an album and a song - but when all the good production and expensive gear is gone a good song is still a good song and the guys in Stratovarius know how to cut one!! I'm looking forward to the full release.

© Steen Peitersen 2000