Released: 2004, Frontiers Records / Atenzia Records
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Eyewitness became the first band to sign on for the British label Now & Then Records back in 1995. Eyewitness was established by the ex-Death guitarist Ralph Santolla and the Tampa based foursome was completed by singer Todd Plant. The other members were the drummer Oliver Hanson and the bass player Steve Hodson. Eyewitness released two albums and then changed their name to Millenium.
Two tears after the name change Millenium released their self titled album. With the name change they also switched their musical style to more melodic and keyboard oriented hard rock. In 1999 came their second album ANGELFIRE and with that followed more member changes. Shane French and Manfred Binder took over the guitar and bass play respectively. When it was time to go out on tour Hanson was replaced by a fellow from my neighbor country Norway – Jorn Lande (Vagabond, The Snakes, ARK, Beyond Twilight and Masterplan). HOURGLASS was recorded in both Florida and Norway during 2000 and after its release the band went out on the road to do some shows in Spain with Ten.
Just as the title lets us know this is a best of album with songs included from the first three albums the band made plus some previous unreleased material. With so much material they had to make it a double disc. I would define this as melodic hard rock with a lot of keyboards, ballads and choirs. Both Plant and Lande take the songs to a new height with their amazing vocals and the material keeps the same high class straight through the album. Santolla and French have some sharp guitar duels going on between them.
The album doesn’t really proceed in any chronological order, instead it starts off with songs from both HOURGLASS and ANGELFIRE on Disc 1 and the Disc 2 contains songs from the first album MILLENIUM and unreleased songs. I would prefer the label to put the songs in chronological order.
Frontiers dug deep in their vaults to found ten previously unreleased songs for this release. After HOURGLASS it was meant for Millenium to release a covers album but it never came. Four of the cover songs they recorded appear on this release: MSG’s “On & On”, Sweets’ “Love Is Like Oxygen”, Jefferson Starship’s “Jane” and Rainbow’s “I Surrender”. All of those songs are with Lande on vocals and keyboard player Don Airey (Ozzy, Rainbow, Ten). There is also two tracks with Lande that were never released from the HOURGLASS sessions called “Rain” and “Aanybody”. The last of the unreleased tracks are demos with Plant on vocals. Between the two discs there are four songs from the debut, seven from ANGELFIRE and six from HOURGLASS. All of the songs are with Plant except for the last six.
I have nothing bad to say about this album at all. It’s too bad that I’ve missed out on this band for so long. For all of you who are dedicated fans of melodic hard rock this album is definitely something for you. But this album is also for all of you who are into Jorn Lande, since he is featured on eleven tracks. Over the whole compilation there are twenty-eight songs so you really get something for what you spend here.
Earlier this year came Millenium’s new album JERICHO where Santolla and the guys returned to playing heavy metal influenced by melodic hard rock. Plant is back too on JERICHO. All of the songs are high class, but if I have to choose my favorites it would be all the songs with Jorn Lande and also “Together As One”, “Believe In Love”, “Almost Made It To Heaven” and “I Lost It”.