Place Vendome - Thunder in the Distance

Place Vendome Thunder in the Distance cover
Place Vendome
Thunder in the Distance
Frontiers Records
I honestly thought that the Place Vendome project was over and didn’t expect any new material from them, as 4 years have passed since “Streets of Fire”. To my surprise, Place Vendome, didn’t quit and are here with a brand new release.
I dig the two previous albums from the band and that’s obvious if you read the reviews. Kiske perfectly fits to the melodic rock/AOR music. The more melodic stuff suits him ideally as he is one of the greatest voices in rock/metal music of all time. Yeap, I’m not exaggerating at all. Kiske is one of a kind! Once again a bunch of songwriters have been called in order to offer their services. So we have: Magnus Karlsson (Last Tribe, Starbreaker, Primal Fear etc.), Timo Tolkki (ex-Stratovarius), Alessandro Del Vecchio (Hardline), Roberto Tiranti and Andrea Cantarelli (Labyrinth, A Perfect Day), Tommy Denander (Radioactive), Soren Kronqvist (Sunstorm, Issa), and Brett Jones. There’s also a line-up change, as the drummer Dirk Bruineberg (Consortium Project, ex-Adagio) has replaced Kosta Zafiriou. The keyboardist Gunter Werno (Vanden Plas) and the lead guitarist Uwe Reitenauer (Pink Cream 69) are still around. As expected, the mastermind behind this project is Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69, Unisonic) who mixed & produced the album once again. Needless to say that his work is top-notch as always!
Let me add that the music quality all the Place Vendome albums have is indisputably very strong. Having said that, I need to confess that “Thunder in the Distance” is the feeblest of the three delivered albums so far. Don’t take this the wrong way. Kiske’s voice will send chills down your spine, the production is terrific and all the performances are great in general. However, the songwriting ain’t so strong in comparison to the two previous albums, that all. For instance the opener “Talk to Me” is a clone of “Streets of Fire”. I think they shouldn’t have used this track at all. What’s the point in presenting a “clone song” when the original, which is also based on “Cross the Line”, is way catchier. Possibly, they wanted to keep the same line as every album opens up with an analogous up-tempo hard & heavy track. Anyhow, there are plenty of tunes here to lap up such as: “Power of Music”, “Lost in Paradise”, “It Can’t Rain Forever” & “Maybe Tomorrow”. Anyone can find their own favorites of course. To sum up, “Thunder in the Distance” is a very enjoyable melodic rock/AOR album which will be fully cherished by those who revered in the first two albums… no doubt about it!