For many Michael Kiske projects, Place Vendome is kinda underrated. For me, Place Vendome was actually Kiske's project that I most favorite. This project started with part of Cream 69 members, creating a new AOR band with Kiske as the singer. Their first album self titled Place Vendome was a strong release, I like most of the songs there. Street of Fire was also good although not as original as the first one. So now, their 2013 album is Thunder In The Distance. I can tell you the album title itself already epic, not to say the cover art is well done. On this album, original drummer was step down and replaced by Dirk Bruinenberg.
Talk To Me is a strong AOR song. It is by far the best hit in this album with emotional flow of AOR feel. By the way, unlike other album with one composer creating song to be performed by several singers, Place Vendome's Thunder In The Distance take the opposite. The song were composed by several notable song writer, then solely performed by Michael Kiske. Interesting. Because we can see how the song writer such as Alessandro Del Vecchio, Magnus Karlson or Timo Tolkki adjusted their writing to fit Michael Kiske's styles. This album also see more heavy tunes with thick synthesizer elements. Such as Broken Wings is intense and melodious. Lost In Paradise is interesting Timo Tolkki's song, the power metal feel is there and remind us to Revolution Renaissance's feel. In fact Michael Kiske participated in Timo's Avalon project just months prior. This song however best suit Michael Kiske with all its high pitch galore. It Can't Rain Forever is pop AOR tunes, actually a bit of too simple for Michael Kiske. Fragile Ground is further experimenting with easy listening verses, then goes into well connected choruses. Back to Alessandro Del Vecchio's songs, Hold Your Love and Never Too Late are catchy AOR tunes. Then there also contributing song by Magnus Karlsson in Breakout. Goes into standard '80s hard rock feel in the memory of Journey and Bad English. Thunder In The Distance closed the album with much more energetic AOR melody.
Part of the album consisted of modern synthesizer aided AOR tunes, while the other part is faithful oldies feel songs. Still it's melody is up to the standard of Place Vendome, but not much epic as their debut. Talk To Me is winning song here, while the rest come as enjoyable song. Guitars and instrumental works are fantastic and they do hard to rise the standard for each song with amazing melodies. Good album to have, especially for the sake sole purpose of listening Michael Kiske singing.
Metal Harem class: ********* eight stars out of ten
Place Vendome - Thunder In The Distance (2013)
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1. Talk To Me (4:03 Alessandro Del Vecchio)
2. Power Of Music (4:03 Alessandro Del Vecchio)
3. Broken Wings (4:20 Brett Jones)
4. Lost In Paradise (3:53 Timo Tolkki)
5. It Can't Rain Forever (4:05 Soren Kronqvist, Camilla Andersson, Thomas Vikstrom)
6. Fragile Ground (4:10 Brett Jones)
7. Hold Your Love (4:35 Alessandro Del Vecchio)
8. Never Too Late (3:30 Alessandro Del Vecchio)
9. Heaven Lost (4:40 Alessandro Del Vecchio, Carmine Martone)
10. My Heart Is Dying (3:07 Tommy Denander, Nina Soderqvis)
11. Breakout (4:34 Magnus Karlsson)
12. Maybe Tomorrow (4:24 Andrea Cantarelli & Roberto Tiranti)
13. Thunder In The Distance (4:20 Alessandro Del Vecchio)
14. Maybe Tomorrow (Orchestral Version) (Japan Bonus Track) (2:40)
Michael Kiske - Vocals
Dennis Ward - Bass guitar
Uwe Reitenauer - Guitars
Gunther Werno - Keyboards
Dirk Bruinenberg - Drums
Magnus Karlsson, Timo Tolkki (ex-Stratovarius), Alessandro Del Vecchio (Hardline), Tommy Denander (Radioactive), Roberto Tiranti and Andrea Cantarelli (Labyrinth), Sören Kronqvist (Sunstorm) and Brett Jones.
Place Vendome Thunder in the Distance review