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Catch The Rainbow
A Tribute To Rainbow
Released: 1999, Sanctuary Records
For those that don't now, this band was formed in 1996 and features Uli Kusch (Helloween's drummer), Henjo Richter (Gamma Ray's guitarist), Jens Baker (bassist for Grave Digger and Kingdom Come), Henne Basse (vocalist for Metalium) and Axel Mattenrock (Punch TV's keyboardist). There are several other appearances on the CD making it quite the impressive showcase for German power metal musicians. Also appearing is: Roland Grapow (guitars - Helloween), Andi Deris (vocals - Helloween), Michael Weikath (guitars - Helloween), Markus Gropkopf (bass - Helloween), Ralf Scheepers (vocals - Primal Fear) and others. Rainbow have clearly played a significant role in the musical development of many of these guys.
After reading the list of musicians you are probably expecting a power metaler's dream! Well it's not quite that. This is classic Rainbow played accurately and in some places to perfection. I've been a Rainbow fan for years and I think that if you haven't heard any Rainbow you are still better off picking up their ANY of their CD's with Dio on vocals before you hunt down a tribute CD to the band. Although Henne is a great vocalist, there is, and can only be, one Ronnie James Dio! That said Henne still does a great job. Drummer Uli, also does vocals on the track "Eyes of the World" and he is an excellent singer!! I didn't realize that from listening to Helloween. Andi Deris sings the track "Catch The Rainbow" - although his vocal style is not as suited to Rainbow material he also pulls it off with style. The only other vocalist on the CD is Primal Fear's Ralf Scheepers on "Still I'm Sad." His vocals are recognizable from a mile away and he delivers a fine version of the track. Anyone who is already a fan of Rainbow will no doubt love this stuff. Even though I'm getting tired of all the tribute and cover CD's out there, this one is well above par. This band was created to cover Rainbow and it's a pleasure to listen to. My favorite tracks on the CD are not surprisingly some of my favorite Rainbow tracks to begin with such as: "Kill The King", "Sixteenth Century Greensleeves", "Stargazer'" (Henne totally rules on this one - my god is he ever an AWESOME vocalist!!), "Man on the Silver Mountain" and "Eyes of the World." Missing from the CD, in my opinion only, is "Long Live Rock and Roll" and "Gates of Babylon." Maybe they will record a follow-up to this CD and cover some of the missing tracks. I don't know how long this kind of band can continue since they are confined to covering Rainbow. Perhaps they may write some original songs in this vein and package it with a handful of Rainbow covers!?!?
If, like me, you were disappointed with Helloween's "Metal Jukebox" then this CD will definitely uplift you considering that all of Helloween have contributed something to this CD. If you're feeling in a "melodic hard rock" mood and would like to get an idea of where a lot of these power metal greats got their inspiration from, then catch the rainbow!!!
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