a l b u m r e v i e w s


Produced by: Ralph Santolla

Released: NOV 15 / Website
Relatives: Blue Murder, Whitesnake, Ten
GENRE: Hard Rock

  1. Power To Love
  2. Wheels Are Turning
  3. Hourglass
  4. No More Miracles
  5. Superstar
  6. Rocket Ride
  7. I Will Follow
  8. I Still Believe
  9. Masquerade
  10. Chasing Time

This is big. No, this is huge! Everything about this CD is loud, over the top and in your face.
Now that may not be for everybody, but it sure is for me. Millenium (once known as Eyewitness) have already produced one album - a record I considered good, but didn't blow my mind. On Hourglass, things are different. On board is new vocalist Jorn Lande with his bigger than life David Coverdale like booming voice that gives this album such a lift. If you heard Jorn's solo album, you would know the man isn't afraid to experiment. On Hourglass, it's more straight forward classic hard rock.
The other thing that grabs me about this record is the songs. Written primarily by guitarist Ralph Santolla and Lande, these songs to me are more memorable and certainly more instantly likeable.
The style is somewhat different to their last album. This is more classic European hard rock in the vein of Whitesnake's 1987 album, Blue Murder and also a certain likeness to label mates Ten. There's also a touch of Queen thrown into the mix. Some of these tracks are so over the top and contain some very Queen-esque time changes that really set up the songs.
Power To Love opens the album with an extended acapella intro that surprised me with it's power as it launched into a sonically bombastic chorus and frantic accompanying verse. Huge! Also of note is the guitar/piano dueling mid-section and the vocal harmonies that follow that. A twisting and turning song that is as catchy as hell and rocks hard.
Wheels Are Turning starts with a big guitar riff and a monstrous Coverdale inspired vocal scream. Another totally in your face guitar rocker with a heavy chorus into verse passage that is very cool. A totally Blue Murder guitar sound.
Hourglass is slower, but doesn't let up with it's guitar onslaught. Throw in a few keyboards and you have a moody Whitesnake Is This Love type heavy ballad. Lande sounds sensational and this track sounds as good as any Whitesnake power rock ballad out there.
No More Miracles has another curious intro. A piano and semi-orchestral feel with a slow moody vocal leads this track into another big guitar driven chorus. A power ballad in the true sense of the word, slower than the title track previous.
Now this is really where the production of this album shines brightly. It takes a great production and a very good song to get away with two tracks so over the top as these two up now. Superstar starts with a simple Giant like guitar into and then breaks straight into a multi layered, multi-harmony track with a fairly simple verse leads into one of the more complicated anthem choruses in recent memory. Harmonies everywhere in this feel good uptempo rocker. It gets bigger with every listen!
Rocket Ride continues the feel of Superstar, mixing in a little Whitesnake with Queen's stadium ability and has another high tempo anthem chorus. It's al over in just over 3 minutes, but it leaves an impact and I love the end of the song. Killer pop hard rock.
I Will Follow is another big power rock ballad, slower in tempo than previous tracks and more noticeably bluesy in it's approach and feel. Very laid back and another great honest vocal. Ralph plays out a great slow blues guitar solo towards the end.
I Still Believe has one of those short piano intro's that soon gives way to a loud crunching guitar. The song is more mid-tempo, but still contains some great backing vocals and another big memorable harmony filled chorus.
Masquerade picks up the tempo one notch. It's moody again, but has a different feel to other songs on the album, it's a little more complicated than some. A very cool track that isn't as instantly memorable than some other tracks, but that comes with repeat listens.
Chasing Time is another of my favourite tracks from the album. This track was previewed on the Union Vol. 3 sampler a couple of months back. This track has one hell of a raspy ass vocal and really catches my attention. The chorus is all over and done in 30 seconds, but Lande's vocal makes it completely.
A more straight forward Blue Murder style hard rocker, but a great way to finish the album - on a definite strong note.
BOTTOM LINE: This is a very strong album and to my ears, the best material the guys have produced and some of the best vocals Jorn Lande has ever recorded. The album will appeal to some more than others, as it is totally one of those albums you will love or possibly just not get. It's over the top, in your face, full of guitar solo's and a pounding rhythm section and some of the more bombastic choruses this year. Old fans may take a few listens to adopt to the new sound, but I love it.
If you are partial to the sounds of Blue Murder or the last two Ten albums, I can't see why you wouldn't love this.
ESSENTIAL FOR: All fans of great European hard rock and all fans of Jorn Lande. Whitesnake, Ten and Blue Murder fans.
DISCOGRAPHY:Millenium . Angelfire . Hourglass

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