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On disc: Sabu

- Between The Light - Claudia Ehrhardt - 6 stars
- Strange Messiah - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars

Strange Messiah

Strange Messiah
(AOR Heaven - 2007)

Some are probably remembering his work with Only Child or the Sabu album Between The Light which was released in 1996. At that time he worked with former Pretty Maids / Bonfire guitarist Angel G. Schleifer who joined him again for this one. But for this album he got a few more musicians on board like Michael Voss (Mad Max, Silver, Demon Drive, Casanova), Ralf Heyne (Biss) and Thorsten Koehne (Demon Drive, Code Of Perfection) on guitars. But many will know some of Sabu's work without knowing! He is a famous producer who got more then a dozen platinum albums and almost as much gold ones under his belt! But he got these for producing / mixing such artists as Alice Cooper, Lee Aaron, Little Caesar, Tattoo Rodeo, Malice, W.A.S.P., David Bowie, Shania Twain and Madonna. Beside that he wrote music for TV productions. A busy man it seems, but it was time for him to do another album on his own. His music. His voice.
With a monk choir, bells and thunder the album kicks off with the title track Strange Messiah. The vocals of Paul Sabu powerful and emotional, his voice is deep and raspy. Very heavy and with a lot groove he opens up and shows a heavy side. The song is intriguing. The guitars mainly stay in the back, but when they join in the heavy riffs are sharp and precise. With Dangerous Behaviour he revives the 80's melodic rock with big choirs and catchy hooks. Fans of Giant and Bad English should dig this one! It has power, melody and is an ear catcher. The track Blow By Blow has a bit of AC/DC, but is a decent rocker. But surprises the listener with a slow middle part. A more traditional bluesy hard rock tune is Fighting To Die which reminds me a bit of Whitesnake due to the bluesy guitar. A powerful balladesque track with an almost pop-like chorus. But there is something missing... the certain something. Not bad, but no killer.... With Headbangers it gets heavy again. But as soon as the songs is over you won't remember much of it... The boogie-based Hey Look (But Don't Touch) has a chorus you soon start singing along and could be haunting you for awhile... Piece Of My Heart brings back the late 80's melodic metal. Cool!
A decent hard rock album with a some good tunes, but without a real hit... Well, the title track has the potential, but needs several spins to shine. The album is fun to listen to, but real highlights are missing. A pity. My highlights: Strange Messiah, Hey Look (But Don't Touch) and Piece Of My Heart.

7 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


Between The Light

Between The Light
(USG Records - 1996)

This is the second album of the American-German trio and it's offering melodic metal. This time a little rougher and sound-wise not that polished, it's more a live sound they tried to ban on disc. The music is mainly written by Angel Schleifer (ex-Bonfire, ex-Pretty Maids, ex-Mad Max) and Paul Sabu.
That Mr. Sabu is a talented song writer, producer and engineer he proofed while work­ing with e.g. David Bowie, Lee Aaron, Lionel Ritchie, Madonna, Alice Cooper and John Waite. He also wrote music for movies like The Babysitters and for TV productions like Baywatch.
The songs present the rough voice of Paul Sabu (also acoustic guitars) which crowns the guitar sounds of Angel Schleifer and the basic work on bass by Jörg Deisinger (ex-Bonfire) and drummer Derek Smith who isn't a permanent band member. The track Bring Us Love starts with a choir which reminds me a little bit of the gospel choirs, but this is a balladesque rock tune! But there are real ballads like If I've Never Ask You To Dance and the powerful ballad 'Til Your Heart's Calm. Interesting and unusual is the cover version they chose which is the Stevie Wonder track I Was Made To Love Her which became a real rocker! You would never expect that this is a tune of Stevie Wonder. But they have more rocking tunes to offer like Spitfire which is the album opener.
Produced by the trio themselves. Seems that they want to keep control about their musical life and they are right! Today's music industry would probably forced them to make changes... A nice piece of music, but it won't be easy in nowadays music scene to find their place... Good luck!

6 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


           2008-2010 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail:

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