Patrick : “This album was not meant to be. When I started with Unisonic I thought to have a real band. I thought I would be way too busy for Place Vendome.” Kiske is quite clear about it. But does that make 'Thunder In The Distance’, the new album of the project Place Vendome, nothing more than just a appetizer, a little snack full of easily composed tracks or can the album compete with the two beautiful predecessors of the project?
Just like at ‘Place Vendome’ (2005) and ’Streets Of Fire’ (2009) the music is all about melodic rock. Kiske talks about 100% AOR, but some of the tracks have a slightly heavier edge.
A long list of names has helped Kiske and Dennis Ward helped and delivered tracks for the album: Magnus Karlsson (Primal Fear), Timo Tolkki (ex-Stratovarius), Alessandro Del Vecchio (Hardline), Roberto Tiranti and Andrea Cantarelli (Labyrinth, A Perfect Day), Tommy Denander (Radioactive), Sören Kronqvist (Sunstorm, Issa) and Brett Jones. The collaboration pays off in thirteen melodic rock tracks, which connects this ‘Thunder In The Distance’ quite well with the previous albums. Without wanting to deficit the other tracks especially ‘Talk To Me’, ‘It Can’t Rain Forever’, ‘Fragile Ground’ (with atmospheric keyboards and a nice guitar solo), ‘Hold Your Love’, ‘Break Out’ and title track ‘Thunder In the Distance’ stand out.
Although for many the Place Vendome project will be all about Michael Kiske, we should not forget the others. Dirk Bruinenberg took control over the drumsticks after Kosta Zafiriou left, Gunter Werno is behind the keyboard and Uwe Reitenauer does the guitar work. And with their execution there is absolutely nothing wrong. And I especially have to mention Dennis Ward who, in addition to his contribution on bass, greatly determines the sound of Place Vendome as producer and co-composer. However, the fact remains that for me the driving force of Place Vendome is the beautiful singing of Kiske. Some vocalists may not be as good as they were in the past, but this cannot be said about Kiske. His vocals are still of sheer beauty. His singing even ensures that feel that the song writing of some of the tracks is a bit too recognizable, is forgivable. The lovers are likely to lap up the profile and have no problem with it .
‘Thunder In The Distance' is so much more than just a lean snack that was easily put together. The album, despite a side note here and there, is very entertaining and captivates well. I do not mind such snacks at all.