Label: Frontiers Music
Genre: Melodic Metal
Release Date EU: February 24th, 2017
Lead Vocals – Michael Kiske
Backing vocals – Dennis Ward, Michael Kiske // Additional Choirs on “Strong” by Alessandro Del Vecchio
Bass – Dennis Ward
Keyboards – Günter Werno
Drums – Dirk Bruinenberg
All Rhythm Guitars by Dennis Ward, except: “Welcome To The Edge”, “Across The Times”, “Close To The Sun”, “Hearafter” – Rhythm Guitars by Uwe Reitenauer
- Close to the Sun
- Welcome to the Edge
- Across the Times
- Riding the Ghost
- Light Before the Dark
- Falling Star
- Yesterday is Gone
- Distant Skies
Some news from Place Vendome? Actually not. OK, there’s a new album that hit the stores. The band/project that was founded in 2004 became a constant factor in melodic rock. What began with the successful debut found its continuation with two more records of which “Thunder in the Distance” was the latest one. Place Vendome seems to follow a kind of a four years rooster in which they come up with a new album. And here it is number four. “Close to the Sun” is the title of it and it comes with all the things you could expect from the band. So there is some news that comes with the well-known musical brilliance that’s known from the predecessors.
The artwork includes the eagle, the line-up is stable and the songs are well-crafted melodic rockers. Things stay as they were and that’s good. Place Vendome found a formula for melodic rock that also makes this record to an irresistible experience, even though this kind of music isn’t unique. But as on the first three records, Place Vendome finds again the right balance of melodic vocals lines, mighty guitars and catchy hooks. Kiske, Ward & Co. manage to never drown in triviality with their songs. They deliver quality.
The opener “Close to the Sun” is the perfect example. Michael Kiske’s vocals are outstanding, the furious guitars are a treat and the rhythm section is pushing hard. This song reflects all Place Vendome trademarks and is a well-chosen opener. A number that brings the more emotional side to the forefront is “Strong” which is a power ballad (I actually don’t like this word). The songs mark a more silent moment on the album before gears are shifted with “Across the Times”. In the end, I could mention each of the tracks since they are all equally good.
To spice things up Place Vendome invited some guest for “Close to the Sun”. Guitar solos were added by Kai Hansen, Gus, G., Magnus Karlsson and some more. And last but not least it was Dennis Ward himself who gave this album the sound that’s needed for such a powerful melodic rock production.
This album is a real highlight for fans of melodic metal and leads to a ‘thumbs up’ from my side.
Reviewer: Markus Wiedenmann