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Vandenberg: 2020

For the first time since 1985's Alibi, Dutch guitar legend Adrian Vandenberg has resurrected his band Vandenberg for a new album, though other than himself, no one from the '80s line-up is included this time around. As it's been a long 35 years, the sound of this new version of Vandenberg is also quite different, which generally happens with new blood infiltrating the band. Along with Adrian, the group consists of Chilean vocalist Ronnie Romero (Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, The Ferrymen, Lords of Black, CoreLeoni), bassist Randy Van Der Elsen (Tank), and drummer Koen Herfst (Doro, Epica, Bobby Kimball), making for a power packed line-up. Musically, the songs fall in line with something you'd heard from the early line-up of Dio mixed with a little Whitesnake, and that's not surprising as the always busy Romero has a voice that's sort of a mix of Ronnie James Dio & David Coverdale. Tracks like "Shadows of the Night", "Freight Train", "Hell and High Water", and "Ride Like the Wind" showcase plenty of fiery vocals, memorable choruses, and loads of Vandenberg riff-o-rama, always metallic but still just bluesy enough. "Let It Rain" is the ultra catchy number here, a mid paced heavy rocker with an incredible chorus showing off Romero's strong vocals and Adrian's ability to craft a memorable hook. Elsewhere, "Shout" and "Shitstorm" also rock hard and make an impression (though the latter's lyrics are a tad silly), and the closing "Skyfall" is moody and dare we say somewhat proggy, showing another side to the band not heard before. Did we really need to hear another rendition of the bands lone hit from their debut "Broken Heart" yet again? I get you want to help create the visual of Romero singing all the bands classic material, but another new track would have been better served here.

Overall, a fine release that includes songs that are instantly memorable from the very first listen, chock full of strong vocals, tight rhythms, and plenty of tasty guitar work from the leader. Hopefully these guys have some staying power with this line-up, but time will tell. It ain't Vandenberg from 1984, but it's different and quite good. Check it out.

Track Listing
01. Shadows of the Night
02. Freight Train
03. Hell and High Water
04. Let It Rain
05. Ride Like The Wind
06. Shout
07. Shitstorm
08. Light Up The Sky
09. Burning Heart - 2020
10. Skyfall

Added: July 23rd 2020
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 644
Language: english

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