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Vandenberg's MoonKings - Moonkings Award winner

Vandenberg's MoonKings
Moonkings
by YngwieViking at 02 February 2014, 11:46 PM

In succession and the aftermath of the unexpected demise of the Supergroup MANIC EDEN, right after the release of their sole and self-titled disc (1994), followed by a turmoil, a in and out/troubled period with WHITESNAKE that leads in 1998 to a retirement in his house in the south of France or in his home country in The Netherlands, legendary Adrian Vandenberg had taken more than a decade far away from the music biz.

Happily after many years of absence (too many), the former VANDENBERG guitarist (ex-TEASER) is finally back with MOONKINGS a whole new group formed with unknowns but talented youngsters, especially vocalist Jan Hoving. What is good with Adrian Vandenberg beside his passionate guitar playing , is that he’s a reliable musician loyal to his roots and a trustworthy songwriter, but he’s also a visionary of its own kind , and with this new album, he produced exactly the style of music we all hope/imagined secretly and we expected something like this sound: strong, melodic, deeply rooted in the 70’s, organic and real, focused on the early Hard Rocking spirit yet slightly modernized, but most of all untarnished and uplifting by its genuine juvenile energy .

It’s true that the sudden break up of MANIC EDEN (with the great Rudy Sarzo / Tommy Aldridge rhythmic pair and singer Ron Young) had left us with a bitter taste and a unfinished business feeling, but with this first album the things seems to takes another time, their natural order, like if the stars and the planets were again perfectly in conjunction, indeed it feels while listening to this album what is a like if we lived for once in a perfect universe, the music flows with a pristine fluidity, in the same time exciting but yet familiar, surprising but still comfortable by using many traditional and well known elements as the groovy Hendrix riffage of “Leeches” , the Zeppelin vibes of “Close To You” / ”Leave This Town”, or the beautiful acoustic intro for “Out Of Reach” and of course the breathy Coverdalian (“One Step Behind”) and high pitched vocals in “Steal Away” but also the American modern feel of “Breathing” completed with subtle strings layers and even the TYKETTO southern flavors presents obviously at the beginning of “Feel it” .

The sound of this first attempt is quite flawless, vintage warm but still crisp and delicate, a real studio mastery in the proud method of the grand influential artists and far from amateurish d.i.y. of many cheap releases, with each instrument completely interleaved with each other, the whole enhanced by keen discreet backing vocals. Adrian Vandenberg holds a true savoir-faire in crafting those songs, brilliantly tracks after tracks in a real classic (in every sense of the meaning) album canvas ,the final surprise is the WHITESNAKE cover of “Sailing Ships” presented in a new arrangement, performed in a new fashion right in between the original rendition and the acoustic performance version as shown in “Starkers In Tokyo” (1997), featuring the one and only David Coverdale, in fine form providing his best signature lead vocals for this superb cut  once written by Vandenberg for 1989’s  “Slip Of The Tongue” as a tribute to their mutual past.

The prevailing thought is that Classic Hard Rock is an old recipe, an apathetic style that will not possess genius or new idea, well my friends, it is well and truly wrong and this album is the obvious and tangible evidence of that fact, because with such songs like “Lust And Lies”, “Nothing Touches” or “Line Of Fire”, Adrian and his bunch is performing with glory a new fresh and updated prototype of this Rock magic style that should be included in the DNA of every Metal fan… The only way is to buy it now.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Lust And Lies
2. Close To You
3. Good Thing
4. Breathing
5. Steal Away
6. Line Of Fire
7. Out Of Reach
8. Feel It
9. Leave This Town
10. One Step Behind
11. Leeches
12. Nothing Touches
13. Sailing Ships
Lineup:
Adrian Vandenberg – Lead Guitar
Jan Hoving – Lead Vocals
Sem Christoffel - Bass
Mart Nijen Es - Drums
Record Label: Mascot Records
     


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Edited 24 September 2021
 

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