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Place Vendome - Close To The Sun Award winner

Place Vendome
Close To The Sun
by Marcos "Big Daddy" Garcia at 01 April 2017, 10:55 AM

Super groups in Metal aren’t a new kind of thing. Since the 60s, many bands appeared with stars of music, and one fine example is from THE CREAM. Since then, a countless number of them appeared, some being really a loss of time from musicians (and from the fans), but there are some that are really excellent, making music in a high level. So, the name of PLACE VENDOME can fit in this second type of bands, because their albums are really fine, and the new one, called “Close to the Sun”, is really excellent.

As you all known, the band’s concept was created by Frontiers Records owner, Serafino Perugino, and he invited some musicians for a Hard Rock/AOR project. So the band kept on doing albums, and still is here, with the same melodic and classic form of Hard Rock with some AOR influences. But if the band is not doing something new at all, it’s an outstanding opportunity to hear Michael Kiske, Dirk Bruinenberg and Dennis Ward doing something different from their usual features and to see how these guys are talented musicians that fits in different works, and the special guests doing very good contributions.

I believe that you all know that Dennis is a great musical producer, and he is the one who took the responsibility to deal with “Closer to the Sun” production. Once more, he did a great job, because the sound quality of the album is amazing clear, but with that essential amount of weight (because it’s a Rock band after all). The instrumental tunes are excellent as well, focusing on the melodic and accessible aspect of their musical work.

The special guests on the album are guitarists on the solos, so you have great work from
Gus G. (from FIREWIND and OZZY OSBOURNE) on “Light Before the Dark”, Kai Hansen (ex-HELLOWEEN, GAMMA RAY, UNISONIC) on “Riding the Ghost” and “Across the Times”, Magnus Karlsson from PRIMAL FEAR on “Falling Star”, Mandy Meyer (from Swiss legendary band KROKUS, ex-ASIA, UNISONIC) on “Helen”, Alfred Koffler (from PINK CREAM 69) on “Welcome to the Edge”, Simone Mularoni (from DGM) on “Hereafter”, and Michael Klein on “Strong”, “Breathing”, “Yesterday is Gone” and “Distant Skies”. But all the musicians on the project are doing an excellent job.

The best moments: the excellent melodic lines and refrains on “Close to the Sun” and “Welcome to the Edge” (do I need to say that Michael Kiske and amazing vocalist?), the catchy rhythmic session shown on “Hereafter”, the fine and catchy harmonies and melodies of “Across the Times” and “Riding the Ghost” (this song is a bit more aggressive than the previous one), the catchy musical arrangements heard on “Falling Star”, the accessible scent presented on “Yesterday is Gone”, and the heavy and progressive elements presented on “Distant Skies”.

“Close to the Sun” is an amazing album, indeed.

Originality: 8
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. Close to the Sun
2. Welcome to the Edge
3. Hereafter
4. Strong
5. Across the Times
6. Riding the Ghost
7. Light Before the Dark
8. Falling Star
9. Breathing
10. Yesterday is Gone
11. Helen
12. Distant Skies
Michael Kiske - Vocals
Dennis Ward - Bass, rhythm guitars, producer
Dirk Bruinenberg - Drums
Gunther Werno - Keyboards
Uwe Reitenauer - Rhythm guitars on “Close to the Sun”, “Welcome to the Edge”, “Hereafter”, “Across the Times”, lead guitars on “Close to the Sun”
Record Label: Frontiers Records


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