|Place Vendome Place Vendome||Frontiers Records|
Place Vendome is easily the surprise package of the month. Fronted by former Helloween vocalist Michael Kiske, this project sees him step well and truly into melodic hard rock territory, albeit, with the immense and indeed intense vocal power he is famed for.|
Equal credit must go to the brains trust behind the music. Pink Cream 69's Dennis Ward wrote all the songs in collaboration with bandmates David Readman and Alfred Koffler, with contributions also from Gunther Werno of Vandenplas.
Ward produced this tight affair and plays bass, with Kosta Zafiriou on drums, Gunther Werno on keyboards, Uwe Reitenauer on guitars.
The question – when can you get a new PC69 album that isn't PC69? Right here, as Place Vendome delivers an amazing collection of songs for fans of European melodic hard rock.
Kiske transforms perfectly for this more melodic affair – but the power of Helloween isn't far from his mind. I love melodic rock with passion and fire and this album has both.
The album features some songs that border on melodic metal, just as the case was on Allen/Lande's monster album. Then just around the corner are some perfect melodic gems.
The mix of both styles works a treat and the album is perfectly balanced between the two, meaning it will appeal to both metal fans and melodic hard rock fans.
Looking at the rockers - Cross The Line is a great opener and showcases the harder edge to Place Vendome's sound. The swirling keyboard is something new for both participants, definitively a touch of Vandenplas there.
I Will Be Gone has a definite Helloween vibe to it, especially with the vocal delivery. I can hear a little Strabreaker/Tony Harnell also.
Place Vendome is simply a fabulous happy-go-lucky rocker with a great anthem chorus.
Right Here mimics the crossover appeal of the opening track and Magic Carpet is another very commercial, breezy uptempo melodic AOR track with a powerful chorus.
The album's closing track Sign Of The Times turns slightly more intense and ends the album as it started – in strong rocking form.
A far as slower tracks – the moody and intense The Setting Sun impresses and has a dark vibe. Heavens Door is totally different – it's a sweet, acoustic driven AOR ballad with a feel good chorus. It's quite a revelation for fans of Kiske!
I've saved the best for last. Amongst the great melodic hard rock here, this album also offers two of the great AOR anthems of the year. Of any year. I Will Be Waiting and Too Late are both so utterly perfect, it's hard to believe your ears.
There is nothing better than melodic rock/AOR delivered with power and these two tracks rip the roof right off.
The brilliant moody I Will Be There reminds me of my other favourite release of 2005 – the Oliver Hartmann release. Moody, powerful, intense, but thoroughly melodic. Bliss!
If that isn't perfect enough, it's followed by another gem in Too Late.
This is one of the great heavy AOR anthems of recent years. Kiske sounds brilliant, but overall, the whole song is just wonderfully delivered, with a moody verse which explodes into melodic bliss. The chorus is just perfect – I mean perfect. This is the blueprint for bliss with a soaring feel good chorus and some amazing harmony vocals.
Place Vendome may be a slightly daft band name, but the contents within are as surprising as they are brilliant. Another album that comes from a metal background and crosses over into melodic rock, bringing fans of both together.
include("f-review.p3"); retrieve("placev",0,1); ?>