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Place Vendome
Thunder in the Distance
February 2014
Released: 2013, Frontiers Records
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Waspman

Over the years Place Vendome has been a good, if sporadic, outlet for Michael Kiske to show off his pipes in a forum that isn’t typically associated with him: hard, guitar-driven AOR. The group has only released two prior albums (2005’s self-titled effort, and 2009’s STREETS OF FIRE), but have established themselves as a respected name in commercial hard rock.



Despite the 4-year gap, THUNDER IN THE DISTANCE fits easily alongside the earlier albums. Although the debut was mostly written by the band members, STREETS OF FIRE featured a host of guest song writers, and this album follows the same suit, with members of Hardline, Primal Fear, Sunstorm, and Labyrinth contributing songs. Heck, even Timo Tolkki contributes a track (the slow power metal-esque “Lost in Paradise”). As you’d expect from a band of pros, the music is knocked out of the park with Uwe Reitenauer’s riffs keeping enough edge in the music to counteract the somewhat saccharine songs. Similarly, Gunter Werno’s keyboard work provides a gravitas to the songs without piling on the cheese. As for Kiske, there’s no question that his performance is as flawless as ever, and he sounds right at home singing songs that could have been huge hits in 1985. Even in 2013, these are great songs, with the energetic “Broken Wings” and “Talk to Me” leading the way. In fact, the first four songs are all choice cuts. The album begins to lose steam after that with merely OK ballad “It Can’t Rain Forever”, but there isn’t a truly bad song on the whole album. Indeed, it finishes strongly with the epic-sounding title track. All told, this is yet another classy, highly enjoyable set of songs from this collective.



THUNDER IN THE DISTANCE, and indeed the whole Place Vendome concept, is geared towards high quality melodic rock which fortunately features just enough edge and fireworks to make it palatable to fans of heavier music. If you’re at all into this style of music, then you owe it to yourself to check out Place Vendome.
Track Listing

1. Talk to Me
2. Power of Music
3. Broken Wings
4. Lost in Paradise
5. It Can’t Rain Forever
6. Fragile Ground
7. Hold Your Love
8. Never Too Late
9. Heaven Lost
10. My Heart is Dying
11. Break Out
12. Maybe Tomorrow
13. Thunder in the Distance

Lineup

Michael Kiske: Vocals
Uwe Reitenauer: Guitar
Dennis Ward: Bass, Guitar, Vocals
Gunter Werno: Keyboards
Dirk Bruineberg: Drums

Contact

N/A


Next review: » Polarys - The Va'adian Chronicles
Previous review: » Persuader - The Fiction Maze





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