Reviews January/05

Martie Peters Group / MPG / MTM 0681 -109


Martie Peters - On his own feet at last, an essential album! Tracklisting:The Beast inside; Riot on th 5th Floor; Only dreaming; Number 1; Takes some Time; Heart is an empty Space; A World without you; Take me over the Edge; Bird on the Wire; Hard to choose; Dixie Toot.

Martie Peters must be one the most talented Danish writers in the melodic genre - ever! First in glam band Sateria then in Push - but as the latest edition (and record) of the group Push mostly was a solo work from Peters himself this present record is the natural result of this evolution.
On "MPG" Martie Peters has managed to link his present with the past in music as well as in the choise of musicians - first of all he teamed up with long time friend and multi instrumentalist Anthony Lledo, who was involved in the previous record "4 the Love of the Game" but also former bandmates Martin Slott and René Shades on guitars. Back in 2003 Martie Peters puts the band thing on hold and makes a guest appearence on fellow Dane Mike Tramp's new album - herafter Martie Peters concentrated on this first solo album with the working title "Riot on the 5th floor" with Lledo, Werner and Slott back as the working crew. The album was renamed after he landed a deal with MTM and on bass he got BJ and Jakob Schlein replacing Werner on drums. As a special guest he got Christian Thiesen - an old school guitarist - to add just the right feeling for the coverversion of the 1974 Rod Stewart/Ron Wood track "Dixie Toot" which finishes off the album.
Besides that track there are numerous memorable moment here - my favorites are the riff based "Bird on the Wire" with the significant voice of Peters all over it magnificent drums and complex guitars, and the similar track "Heart is an empty Space" which also brings a great choir into it... But also the beautiful semiacustic ballad "Hard to choose" is 100% quality. The album was recorded in Copenhagen during 2004 and mixed by no one else than Tommy Hansen in the Jailhouse Studios.
Martie Peters was able to present his new songs to a bigger audience when he supported Mike Tramp on his European tour 2004 on a few shows in Denmark. The song „The Beast Inside“ was also pre-released on the new MTM compilation volume 10 and received good feedback. So if you're into melodic rock - this is one of the most significant and (i'm sure time will prove me right) best releases in all 2005!

The Sign / The Second Coming / FR CD 219


The Sign - Terry Brock & Co. back in business! Tracklisting:Aryon Ouverture; Stained (gone); The Morning after (Time to run); Motorcycle Messiah; Shine; Bliss; If for one Moment; Flame of the Oracle; The Ooze; Inner Child (Exorcise); Black Mountain; Keep on breathing; Shine (Finale); Rapture (Ode to Aryon); Maniac.

The Sign's first album was a milestone in this music genre - re-inventing the pomp sound of old Journey, Kansas and Zebra. Naturally, you might say because the first album was recorded with a very impressing lineup featuring vocalist Terry Brock, keyboard player Mark Mangold, guitarist Randy Jackson, bassist Billy Greer and drummer Bobby Rondinelli. After some successful performances among other at The Gods festival November 2000 - Greer and Rondinelli left. New musicians has been found in guitarist/bass player Jon Bivona from Trans Siberian Orchestra and bass player/guitarist Mark Hermann - with Mangold filling in the drum parts!
Once again the story of the album entitled "The second Coming" is based on the girl Aryon - who is saved from a coma. While this story unfolds there a lot of excellent musicianship and song construction here! The magnificent "The Flame of the oracle" is a sheer Tour de Force in how to write a pomp song with a lot of classical elements and change in tempo end expression - great! And in between the long and sferic passages there are some intermezzo's, too like the small but fine "The Ooze". The band also manages to get back to their musical roots on a track like "Black Mountain" they are taking us back to the hard rock genre of the mid 70's - exciting!
A very varied album with a lot of musical "Show off" - the guitar parts and the keyboards/organs are outstanding and so is the voice of Terry Brock. So if you thought taht the pomp genre had died - get a second chance here...

Seven Wishes / Destination:Alive / MTM 0681-122


Seven Wishes - back in a new an improved edition! Tracklisting:Destination:Alive; Cross my Heart; Won't see me cry; Fortuneteller; Follow the Stars; Goes around comes around; Time to say goodbye; See through the Lies; All that I wanted; Picked up my Pieces; Gone like the Wind; Like a Cardhouse.

Seven Wishes from Sweden simply refuses to die. After two rather successful albums - "Seven Wishes" from 1999 and "Utopia" from 2001 there were lineup changes en masse and a lot of fuzz with their former record company. But now they are back in re-vitalised edition featuring powerful vocalist Pelle Andersson, smooth guitarist Toby Andersson, Tony Westgaard on bass and Lennart "Leonid" Karlsson on drums. And they are heavy and powerful right from the start.
In fact Seven Wishes could be from Germany in some places - the magnificent rocker "Won't see me cry" pretty much sets the standard - with punding drums, screaming guitars and Andersson's flexable vocal abilities. besides the hard pumped rockers like "Cross my Heart", "Follow the Stars" and "See through the Lies" the band has managed to put a couple of more mellow and slower tunes on "Destination:Alive", too. My favorite is the sferic track "Fortuneteller" - already pre-promoted on the MTM Music Compilation Vol. 9. This is very much melodic rock the Scandinavian way - riff based and with alot of energy - and a breathtaking chorus and background vocals. But also the grand ballad "Time to say goodbye" is worth a good listen - it has some fine guitars all over it and Andersson's digestable vocals as a statement!
I'm glad that Seven Wishes has decided to stay in the music busines despite the negative things surrounding them - as long as the result is a record like this, artist can use this as a major creative force... not that i wish that neagativity to hit other bands....! Buy this, it's great!

© Steen Peitersen 1999-2005