Place Vendome - 'Thunder In The Distance'



Michael Kiske – Lead Vocals
Dennis Ward – Bass, vocals, rhythm guitars
Dirk Bruineberg– Drums
Gunter Werno – Keyboards
Uwe Reitenauer – Lead guitars

1.) "Talk To Me" - This pre-intro opens with Gunter playing a single violin arrangement on the keyboards.  As the violin arrangement fades in it was double-tracked to give the effect that there were two violinists.  On the third time through Gunter began playing a separate violin keyboard effect over the top of the first two.  This third violin arrangement was a different from the first two arrangements.  It also fills-in many of the empty spaces of the first two.  There was a huge drum fill connecting the musical intro with the musical verse.  After the drum fill there is a keyboard arrangement change.  It is also at this point the rhythm guitar arrangement and bass line kick-in.  To lead into the opening lyric line there was a small chord progression going up the neck of the guitar.  After the fourth lyric line there was a rhythm guitar arrangement change.  The musical chorus had a heavy progressive sound to it.  The band kept the chorus very short.  Though short don't let the hook of the chorus fool you.  There was a Yngwie Malmsteen influenced lead guitar solo connecting the second and third chorus.  A second lead guitar solo ran underneath the fourth chorus and coda of the song.       
2.) "Power of Music" - This intro opens with a tom-tom fill.  After the drum fill there is a very simple fill-in rhythm arrangement over the top of a keyboard arrangement.  The rhythm guitar of the intro section had a very simple feel to it.  Though there is a keyboard underneath the lyric line it is the guitar arrangement and drum line that are the main focus.  There is a couple of times when Michael carries out the vocal note really showing his vocal ability.  The rhythm guitar riffs underneath Michael's vocal lines gave the verse a sweet hook.  The choruses were absolutely amazing!!!!  After the second chorus there was a lead guitar solo.  This lead guitar solo was very laid back and melodic.  This lead guitar solo connected the last chorus to a very short breakdown section.   
3.) "Broken Wings" - The guitar riffs that opened this intro was done using an effects pedal.  The band kept the same guitar riff effect for the main intro section.  For the main body of the intro it sounded as if the rhythm guitar riff that opened the song was double tracked.  For the drum line Dirk used a china boy pattern instead of his hi-hat.  For the tail end of the intro a second guitar kicks-in.  This second guitar played the same rhythm as the first only without the effect.  There was a keyboard arrangement underneath the first two lyric lines.  The guitar rhythm does not kick back in until the third lyric line.  There was an arrangement change for the musical pre-chorus.  The pre- chorus had a huge hook attached to it.  Michael added a huge vocal hook to the chorus.  The music kind of slows down just a little leading into a very melodic lead guitar solo.   There were several lead guitar licks underneath the lead vocal lines of the chorus. 
4.) "Lost in Paradise" - One of the best songs I believe I have ever heard!!!!!     
5.) "It Can’t Rain Forever" - This is an amazing ballad!!!!!
6.) "Fragile Ground" - This was an amazing sounding song.
7.) "Hold Your Love" - This was just another amazing song  on the release that the band wrote!
8.) "Never Too Late" - There was a tom-tom fill that opened this intro section.  The main instrumentation of the intro consisted of a keyboard arrangement.  There was an arrangement change for the musical verse.  There were a few lyric line of the verse that was double tracked.  The chorus had an amazing hook!  The rhythm guitar of the verses had a very simple feel to them.  After the second chorus there was a very minor lead guitar solo.  There was no major solo for this song.
9.) "Heaven Lost" - There was a minor lead guitar solo over the top of this intro section.  The band kept the musical verse fairly simple letting Michael's vocals carry the verse.  Though there was a small hook the choruses of this track was way to short for my taste.
10.) "My Heart is Dying" -This intro consisted of a keyboard effect along with a rhythm guitar arrangement.  The first two lyric lines of the musical verse was done using a vocal effect.  There was a rhythm arrangement change for the chorus.  The chorus had one of the hugest hooks I think I have ever heard!  There was a breakdown section connecting the second and third choruses. 
11.) "Breakout" - This was a jaw dropping ballad!
12.) "Maybe Tomorrow" - This was another jaw dropping ballad!!!
13.) "Thunder in the Distance" - This track opens with two different keyboards.  There was a minor lead guitar solo over the top of the intro section.  The musical verse really does not kick-in until the third chorus.  The chorus had a small vocal hook attached to it.  For the second verse there were two separate rhythm guitar arrangements.   There was a lead guitar solo connecting the second and third choruses.  A minor lead guitar solo ran underneath the choruses of the coda.

     Founded in 2004 by Frontiers Records President Serafino Perugino "Thunder In The Distance" is Place Vendome's third release.  This was the first Place Vendome release I have ever covered.  At first, and I do not know why however I expected a Helloween/ progressive style release.  This was by far not what I received!  The songs are melodic with almost a Geoff Tate writing style giving Michael's vocals an early Geoff Tate sound.  It does not matter if you're a fan of any past Michael Kiske projects.  Or have even heard of him for that matter, if you're a fan of melodic metal then 'Thunder In The Distance' is a must have!!!!!