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On disc: Sunstorm

Emotional Fire - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars
Road To Hell - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars

Road To Hell

Road To Hell
(Frontiers Records - 2018)

Joe Lynn Turner doesn't need any introduction, for decades he's active and well-known in the hard rock community. Sunstorm was a project initiated by JLT and Frontiers' boss Serafino Perugino and Road To Hell is the 5th album. The self-titled debut saw the light of day in 2006.

The opener Only The Good Will Survive is a powerful, catchy track with Alessandro del Vecchio's keyboards and Simone Mularoni's guitars on top of it the charismatic voice of JLT. A slow tune is The Road To Hell, but heavy riffs, melodic leads and sing along vocals dominate this one.

A balladesque tune is My Eyes On You, but if you expect a cheesy ballad, then you'll be disappointed. Heavy riffs and keyboard build the playground for the emotional vocals of JLT. For Everywhere they slow down and the vocals are only accompanied by keyboard - at least for awhile -, later it becomes a slightly bombastic ballad. An up-tempo rocker is Resurrection which shows that JLT can still rock!

One of my faves is Blind The Sky, a guitar-driven rocker with great vocals. Excellent. Another one is Resurrection. Actually you can pick any two songs to get an idea about the new Sunstorm album! There is no filler!

Highly recommended to all fans of AOR and hard rock!

9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


Emotional Fire

Emotional Fire
(Frontiers Records - 2012)

Emotional Fire is the 3rd album of Joe Lynn Turner's Sunstorm, but it's different. This time Joe Lynn Turner remembered his past and choose to cover songs where he did backing vocals for other artists - among them Michael Bolton and Cher. Additionally there are songs written by Soren Kronkvist (Crash The System, Issa), Tom and James Martin (Vega, Sunstorm, Khymera) and Daniel Palmqvist.

The opener is Never Give Up, a catchy hard rock tune. It would be nice to know the original artists to get an idea how much a song changed... Emotional Fire is a song Michael Bolton, Desmond Child and Diane Warren wrote for Bolton's The Hunger album, but skipped it. The outtake was little later recorded by Cher - her version feat. Bonnie Tyler and Michael Bolton - and here I can compare the two versions, coz I like some of Cher's songs and know this one. Sunstorm's version is more rock, but Cher's is more dynamic vocally... more powerful. The Sunstorm version isn't as bombastic and will surely please rock fans.

Piano leads you into Lay Down Your Arms, but then becomes a melodic rocker. Somehow it sounds familiar... With You Wouldn't Know Love it's easy for me as it's another one off Cher's Heart Of Stone album, especially as it was a Europe-only single release. Cher's version is more dramatic while this is more hard rock. With Torn In Half Sunstorm deliver a melodic metal tune and guitarist Uwe Reitenauer could show off his skills. Michael Bolton's Gina is less bombastic then the original which Mr. Bolton recorded for his The Hunger album. And even if they took of the bombastic edge it's more AOR than hard rock. The Higher You Rise has the 80's vibe, but I can't place it. No idea who it might performed it or if it's a new one... When I read the title Emily I immediately thought of Asia's tune, but at it's a quite new track, it was clearly another Emily.

Dennis Ward not just played on the album, he also produced it and it sounds better than many million dollar productions from the 80's when these songs were originally recorded resp which were recorded for this album. Fan of JLT's voice won't be disappointed!

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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