Place Vendome
Close to the Sun

01. Close To The Sun
02. Welcome To The Edge
03. Hereafter
04. Strong
05. Across The Times
06. Riding The Ghost
07. Light Before The Dark
08. Falling Star
09. Breathing
10. Yesterday Is Gone
11. Helen
12. Distant Skies

Lead Vocals - Michael Kiske
Backing vocals - Dennis Ward, Michael Kiske // Additional Choirs on “Strong” by Alessandro Del Vecchio
Bass - Dennis Ward
Keyboards - Günter Werno
Drums – Dirk Bruinenberg
All Rhythm Guitars by Dennis Ward, except: "Welcome To The Edge", "Across The Times", "Close To The Sun", "Hearafter" – Rhythm Guitars by Uwe Reitenauer

Place Vendome (2005)
Streets Of Fire (2009)

Thunder in the Distance (2013)

Guitar solo by Michael Klein on "Yesterday Is Gone", "Distant Skies", "Strong", "Breathing".
Guitar solo by Uwe Reitenauer on "Close To the Sun"
Guitar solo by Alfred Koffler on "Welcome To The Edge"
Guitar solo by Magnus Karlsson on "Falling Star"
Guitar solo by Gus G on "Light Beyond The Dark"
Guitar solo by Simone Mularoni on "Hearafter"
Guitar solo by Mandy Meyer on "Helen"
Guitar solo by Kai Hansen on "Riding The Ghost" and "Across The Times"

Produced by Dennis Ward

Released 2017-02-24
Reviewed 2017-02-11


Michael Kiske and his Place Vendome are back and this time they are close to the sun; the bird on the cover looks to have a much hotter day then it did last time around. This is the fourth album for this band and there are some great musicians involved in this project, for example a Finn wrote the highlight track of the album that is probably more metallic than anything done from the Vendomes. Frontiers actually describes it as a monster of an album and I think they are actually quite right in that regard.

The music can be described as melodic rock/AOR but flavoured with more power and more sense of metal than most bands in this genre. Add to that Kiske’s rather atypical vocal style for this genre and you have an album that sounds more interesting than most of the albums we hear in this genre. The songs written by many different composers are varied but thanks to the great production of Dennis Ward it is a very coherent album that will keep you listening for the entire playing time, that is rather long although that is something you do not notice when listening to the album.

I would say that it is a great album, one that I really like. Although I can’t say that I liked it to begin with, I thought it sounded a bit uninteresting at first but after a few time I really warmed up to the greatness of this album. And I would say that the strong points outweigh whatever weaker point one can find, and this is what really makes this an excellent album. There are many hit songs on this album even though I would say that the second track is a real standout track and by far the most memorable on the album, but it takes a while to warm up to the verse that I though felt a tad poor to begin with but it really isn’t. That shows some great musical penmanship from a Finnish guy name Jani Liimatainen who was once in Sonata Arctica. But as I have already alluded to, it is not the only great song on this album.

You will be hard pressed to find any significant flaw with this album that is probably the best one of the four by Place Vendome and one of the best of the year as well. I think it will be well worth taking the 57 minutes it takes to play through this album because it isn’t often you get musical entertainment of this quality. I think Place Vendome is a great band and this is a great album.




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

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