|Sunstorm featuring Joe Lynn Turner – ‘Emotional Fire’
Joe Lynn Turner - Lead Vocals
Chris (Schmidtic) Schmidt – Drums
Dennis Ward - Bass, partial guitars and backing vocals
Uwe Reitenauer – Guitars
Justin Dakey - Keysboards
1.) “Never Give Up” – The intro to this track with a pick slide over the top of a snare/tom-tom drum fill. The intro itself consists of a fairly basic musical arrangement. There is an arrangement change underneath the opening lyric line of the verse. In between the first and second lyric lines of the lyrical verse Chris opened and closed his hi-hat once along with three cymbal chokes. There was a small rhythm change for the musical chorus. The last lyric of the second verse over laps the first lyric of the second chorus. After the second chorus there is a very short breakdown section. The short breakdown section leads to a lead guitar solo. There are several Joe Lynn vocal accents over the top of the lead guitar solo of the outro.
2.) “Emotional Fire” – The opening keyboard ½ notes along with the cymbal crashes was very reminiscent to some of the openings Tico Torres (drums) and David Bryan (keyboards) of Bon Jovi recorded on Bon Jovi’s sophomore album ‘7800° Fahrenheit’ released on April 20, 1985. After the ½ notes there is a small tom fill connecting the ½ notes with the main body of the intro. After the two ½ notes there is a small musical arrangement that consisted of a keyboard arrangement over the top of a very simple rhythm guitar riff. After this the opening ½ note arrangement repeats. There is a small tom-tom fill that connects the intro with the musical verse. There is a small arrangement change for musical verse. The rhythm guitar riff underneath the lead vocal lines of the musical verse was more of a fill-in rhythm. Over the top of the fill-in rhythm the keyboard arrangement basically plays a fill-in arrangement also. This allows JLT’s vocals to be the main focus. There are two backing harmony lyric lines that connect the musical verse with the musical chorus. I’m almost certain Joe double tracked these backing harmonies. There is a small drum fill connecting the musical verse with the musical chorus. The second verse is basically a repeat of the first verse. The same goes for the choruses. Joe cares the last vocal note of the second chorus which leads into the lead guitar. The lead guitar solo was written in a melodic rock style. Uwe holds the last lead guitar note to where it runs underneath the first lyric o the third verse. For the third lyric line instead of hitting the snare drum Chris hits his small tom-tom (which if I had to guess I would say it was a either an8” or 10” tom-tom)
3.) “Lay Down Your Arms” – This track opens with a synthesizer playing two whole notes. As the synthesizer progresses Justin slowly turns it up. The synthesizer leads to a piano arrangement. The piano and lead vocal line of the first verse begins at the same time. Underneath the piano there is a wood block percussion pattern. The piano arrangement and lyric lines of the musical pre- verse fit like a hand in glove. There not only is a piano arrangement change for the musical chorus however this also is when the drum & bass line kick-in. The third verse builds with intensity. At the end of the third verse there is a small orchestration arrangement that leads to the fourth chorus.
4.) “You Wouldn’t Know Love” – This track opens with a fairly straight forward melodic hard rock intro arrangement. There is a rhythm guitar change for the musical verse. For the drum line instead of hitting the snare on the 2 & 4 Chris hits the snare on the 2 and the tom on the 4. It sounded like Chris opened the hi-hat on the & of 3. Though there is a small rhythm guitar change for the musical chorus. By far it is Joe Lynn that gives the chorus the hook. The backing harmonies of the chorus reminded me a lot of the backing harmonies Ritchie Sambora sings on early Bon Jovi material. The lead guitar solo connects the second & third choruses. There is a minor lead guitar solo in between the main music arrangement and the lead vocal lines of the fourth & fifth choruses. The minor solo runs underneath the vocal line all the way through the outro
5.) “Wish You Were Here” –This track opens with a tom-tom fill before going into the main intro section. The main intro section consisted of a very simple keyboard arrangement over the top of a much laid back guitar riff. For the first verse the first three lyric lines consisted of just a bass & drum line. After the first three lyric lines the rhythm guitar kicks-in. The rhythm guitar continued for the next four lyric lines. After the first verse there is a small pre-chorus. Through the pre-chorus there are times when the rhythm guitar has musical rest letting the bass & drum line become the main instrumentation. The chorus was keep very short and simple. The lead guitar solo connects the second and third chorus. The solo started slow and progressed with speed it would have been nice to have had the solo just a little longer.
6.) “Torn In Half” – The intro to this track opens with a keyboard arrangement. At the end of the third measure and through the fourth measure there is a tom-tom fill along with a cymbal crash. After the cymbal crash of the intro the musical verse kicks-in. The guitar riffs of the verse consisted of several musical rests. The rhythm guitar doesn’t really kick-in until the musical chorus. It sounded as if Joe Lynn Turner double-tracked the backing vocals of the choruses. After the second chorus there is a breakdown section. The breakdown section leads to the lead guitar solo. There is a minor underneath the lead vocals of the
7.) “Gina” –This track opens with a snare drum fill. Joe Lynn sings several vocal accents over the tip of the main body of the intro. The band used the same rhythm for the verse as the one for the intro. There is a small vocal echo attached to the last lyric line of the first verse and the first lyric line of the chorus. The chorus had seventies Joe Lynn Turner feel to it. The lead guitar solo connects the second and third choruses. There is a minor lead guitar solo in between the lyric lines and the main musical arrangement,
8.) “The Higher You Rise” – This track opened with a tom-tom pattern. The main body of the intro had a very sweet hook. If it had been my song I would have recorded a minor lead guitar solo over the top of it. There is a rhythm arrangement change for the musical verse. The musical verse consisted of two different rhythm guitar arrangements. The musical chorus had a very simple feel to it. After the second chorus there was a breakdown section that lead to a very short minor lead guitar solo.
9.) “Emily” –This intro opens with an eighth-note cymbal choke. The main instrumentation of the intro is the keyboard arrangement. The second measure is an exact repeat of the first measure. For the third measure the bass and drum line kick-in. There is a tom-tom fill connecting the musical intro with the musical verse. The chorus had a very simple feel to it. After the second chorus there was a lead guitar solo. There is a minor lead guitar solo underneath the lead vocal lines of the third chorus. JLT’s vocals is by far what makes this song!!!
10.) “Follow Your Heart” –An amazing song that was reminiscent of Van Halen with Sammy Hagar.
11.) “All I Am” –ONE HELL OF A BALLAD!!!!!!
‘Eternal Fire’ is the third CD released by the group Sunstorm. It also is the third CD with legendary vocalist Joe Lynn Turner. This can and will almost always be a two edge sword. On one edge you have an unbelievably sounding band. On the other edge when you have a great vocalist in their own right such as Joe Lynn Turner where everything they record sounds like a Joe Lynn Turner solo release. As a consequence that is pretty much what you have here. Now here’s the problem. When you have a vocalist that has such a distinct vocal sound such as Joe Lynn Turner everything turns to a Joe Lynn Turner solo release. Now keep in mind I’m not saying ‘Eternal Fire’ is a terrible CD in fact it is a great melodic metal release. However, it does not give the band a individual sound. This is something I would have liked to have heard especially with this being their third release.
With that being said if you’re a fan of the first two Sunstorm release, Joe Lynn Turner or melodic metal in general then this release will make you very satisfied!