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VANDENBERG – 2020 album review

RELEASED: 29TH MAY 2020

LABEL : MASCOT RECORDS

GENRE: HARD ROCK

MEMBERS:

  • Adrian Vandenberg – Guitar
  • Ronnie Romero – Vocals
  • Randy Van Der Elsen – Bass
  • Koen Herfst – Drums

TRACK LIST:

  1. Shadows of the Night
  2. Freight Train
  3. Hell and High Water
  4. Let It Rain
  5. Ride Like The Wind
  6. Shout
  7. Shitstorm
  8. Light Up The Sky
  9. Burning Heart – 2020
  10. Skyfall

 

Once in a while an album falls into my lap and I have the greatest privilege to review it.  Adrian Vandenberg has been a mainstay in my musical collection for many years, from Vandenberg’s ‘Burning Heart’, to my dreams of ever looking like Tawny Kitaen in the Whitesnake videos and the ripping solo in ‘Here I go Again.  Mr Vandenberg has always had a purest of guitar playing magic, with the dirtiest of undercurrents.

Joyfully, Adrian has bought Vandenberg back to us again with the newest offering ‘2020’.  On the press release it states ‘The Album where Whitesnake meets Rainbow’ and with the full, in your face, rock perfection of the first track ‘Shadows of The Night’ and the vocals of Ronnie (who has had an impressive stint with Richie Blackmores Rainbow) truer words have never been spoken. It really is a delicious cocktail of Vandenberg, Rainbow and Whitesnake with a fresh twist of contemporary rock.  This is not a slur in any way to the sound of this album, rather a refreshing fact, in that these chaps are proud of and have embraced their history with, let’s be honest, two of the best rock bands in the world.

‘2020’ even has two celebrated guests on the album, namely bassist Rudy Sarzo and drummer Brian Tichy.

‘Freight Train’ is an example of the original ‘Vandenberg’, but turned right up to number 12 or more, and pumping you with tribal beats of rock n roll joy.

If you want sultry and sexy, then ‘Hell and High Water’ has this in spades and the vocals from Mr Romero are simply awesome, matching the rhythmic drumming to perfection.

For outstanding song writing and execution look no further than ‘Let it Rain’ and ‘Ride Like The Wind’, both of which are spine-tingling in the extreme and have that exciting concoction of old school classic rock (taking you back to your youth) with contemporary freshness (making it the ideal musical treat for your ears right now)

‘Shout’ is a thumping, call to action, epic of a track, which is sure to be a crowd pleaser when the guys tour later this year.  Whilst ‘Shitstorm’ has that kind of intro that you know is going to build to a kick ass tune and it does not disappoint.

The driving, thunderous entity, that is ‘Light Up the Sky’, wallops you in the face with deliciously played guitar running alongside the drums and vocals like hot-rods in a rock n roll drag race.

With the beautiful ballad ‘Burning Heart’ making way for the perfect end track, the stunning ‘Skyfall’, ‘2020’ really has been a wonder to listen to.  And each time I listen it, I find more and more gems hidden within the music and vocals.

This album is a cocktail of classic Vandenberg with a twist of modern in your face rock. It should feel safe, but it does not, it has enough dirtiness to its production to keep the band sounding real and fresh.  These guys are truly an exceptional formula …and did they have fun making ‘2020’, you bet they did and it shows!

SCORE: 10 out of 10

REVIEWER: Francijn Suermondt

 

 

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