Place Vendome
Thunder in the Distance

Tracks (with song writing credit)
1. Talk to Me (Alessandro Del Vecchio)
2. Power of Music (Alessandro Del Vecchio)
3. Broken Wings (Brett Jones)
4. Lost in Paradise (Timo Tolkki)
5. It Can' Rain Forever (Soren Kronqvist, Camilla Andersson, Thomas Vikstrom)
6. Fragile Ground (Brett Jones)
7. Hold Your Love (Alessandro Del Vecchio)
8. Never Too Late (Alessandro Del Vecchio)
9. Heaven Lost (Alessandro Del Vecchio, Carmine Martone)
10. My Heart Is Dying (Tommy Denander, Nina Soderqvis)
11. Break Out (Magnus Karlsson)
12. Maybe Tomorrow (Andrea Cantarelli & Roberto Tiranti)
13. Thunder in the Distance (Alessandro Del Vecchio)

Michael Kiske – vocals
Uwe Reitenauer – guitars
Dennis Ward – bass guitar
Dirk Bruinenberg – drums
Gunther Werno - keyboards

Place Vendome (2005)
Streets Of Fire (2009)


Mixed & Produced by Dennis Ward
Artwork by Stan Decker

Released 2013-11-01
Reviewed 2013-12-17


This feels a bit like it is being lifted by the songwriting of Alessandro Del Vecchio, but before I get more into that, lets just introduce Place Vendome. A project figured out by the Frontiers boss who placed Kiske as singer and then added Dennis Ward who is a great producer and song writer. Ward wrote most of the music on the debut, this time around they have other composer who are not in the band, just like last time around. This is the third album by this project which has contained more or less the same band from the beginning in 2004 until now and they feature one of my favourite keyboardists in Günther Werno. It is also an album with a lovely album cover artwork and seven of the thirteen songs are written by Alessandro Del Vecchio who some might know from the average band Hardline and the brilliant band Wheels of Fire.

This is quite classic AOR, maybe a bit on the heavier side and unsurprisingly it reminds me a lot of Wheels of Fire but with a worse singer. Not to say that Kiske is bad, he isn’t as I think he does a great vocal part on this album and carries the songs really well. The production is also excellent, Dennis Ward has probably outdone himself and that isn’t easy considering what he usually does. Good variation on the album but still surprisingly coherent considering that the material was written by different songwriters, I think that we can conclude that it is an impressive production. Thirteen tracks and fifty four minutes of playing time is what it provides and I think that these fifty four minutes is about the correct playing time for thins album, not too long and not too short.

This album feels fairly average in base and I was ready to write it down a fair deal, then I was taken by the second song Power of Music which really brought the rest of the album to play. I think said track is absolutely brilliant and it belongs amongst the best songs of this year, maybe not a short through the heart but definitely a good strike in the face. It was written by Alessandro Del Vecchio just like the other tracks that strike me as slightly better than the rest of the album. Sure the third and fourth track are also strong but maybe not on par with the best seven tracks on the album. I guess that we can say that this album’s strength comes from Alessandro Del Vecchio’s song writing in conjunction with great musicianship and an excellent production.

Sure, it is not the most unique or innovative album I have ever heard but good music is good music and thanks to great song writing by Del Vecchio, Brett Jones and Timo Tolkki this album can be described as good music. A highly recommended album, especially if you like Michael Kiske or if you like AOR. The question is if Kiske has been the lead singer of a better album, I can’t think of any at the moment and to be honest it doesn’t matter as this album is enjoyable enough not to bother with any of his earlier albums.



Label: Frontiers Records
Three similar bands: Wheels of Fire/Unisonic/Helloween
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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