Vandenberg – “2020”
Label: Mascot Records/Mascot Label Group
Review: Dawn Osborne
The reversion to the Vandenberg name marks, not only a line up change with Ronnie Romero of Richie Blackmore’s Rainbow coming in on vocals, but a slight change of direction with a heavier sound from the Dutchman with the Whitesnake heritage.
‘Shadows of the Night’ could easily be a Whitesnake song from circa ‘Still of The Night’ demonstrating that, if you like your hard rock classic, you’re in the right place. ‘Freight Train’, the latest single keeps up the frenetic pace. However, possibly the best new song on the album ‘Hell and High Water’ really showcases Romero’s voice which must be one of the best around for this kind of retro rock scaling to the heights of Dio and Coverdale with little effort. His foreign accent comes out on a few tracks noticibly ‘Let it Rain’ and ‘Ride Like the Wind’, although sounding more Germanic than Chilean which is where he is from, and reminding a little of the Scorpions.
Vandenberg 2020 Lineup:
Adrian Vandenberg – Guitar
Ronnie Romero – Vocals
Randy Van Der Elsen – Bass
Koen Herfst – Drums
Vandenberg himself provides soaring 80s style solos showing that any difficulties he had playing from his car accident are long in his distant past. ‘Shout’ is a straightforward rock anthem built to be played live. ‘Shitstorm’ with special guests Rudy Sarzo and Brian Tichy, both ex Whitesnake members, contains some vocals with a lovely warm tonality like Coverdale’s early blues period, but develops with a more Teutonic metal chorus.
A new version of the 80s Vandenberg anthem ‘Burning Heart’ harks back to the history of the band and its most successful song while giving it up to date big production. ‘Skyfall’ rounds out the album with a huge chorus that stands up to past glories and ends the album in grand style.
A safe, nineties free zone, rest assured that this is where lovers of the eighties can come for a haven of classic sounding big arena rock as if Nirvana just never happened.
1. Shadows Of The Night
2. Freight Train
3. Hell and High Water
4. Let It Rain
5. Ride Like The Wind
8. Light Up The Sky
9. Burning Heart – 2020
Vandenberg – Shadows Of The Night
Vandenberg – Burning Heart 2020