Place Vendome – Thunder In The Distance


Review by Woody

Frontiers Records

Thunder In The Distance is the third album from Place Vendome the project to showcase original Helloween vocalist Michael Kiske. Again the album is produced by Dennis Ward and has songs written by a whole host of guest writers. I know not everyone is a fan of these Frontiers projects, as they aren’t real bands and sometimes rely too heavily on the same song writing teams, but from my perspective some of these projects are just damn good to ignore. So does this new one from Place Vendome push all my happy buttons? The simple answer is Hell YES!

I think most melodic rock fans will really enjoy this album and it is a solid collection of commercial flavoured rock. Even though Place Vendome are a project the team behind it have developed a certain style to associate with the band, which breaks them free of the generic nature of some of the other projects. Don’t get me wrong this is still essentially a radio friendly slab of hook laden melodic rock but there is a strong majestic and pompous tone to it all, giving Place Vendome a more specific identity and sound. There is an epic feel to all the songs due to the arrangements and orchestration it makes Thunder In The Distance sound very grandiose.

The song’s chosen are of a very high standard, ‘Power Of Music’, powerful ballad ‘It Can’t Rain Forever’, ‘Hold Your Love’ and ‘My Heart Is Dying’ should all become firm favourite with genre fans. Kiske’s vocals throughout are very impressive and the songs really showcase his vocal style with maximum effect. For me this is the strongest in the Place Vendome trilogy mainly because I think it’s the most consistently strong overall.

The musician’s involved in this album have delivered some quality performances that have really breathed life into these songs and help emphasis Kiske’s vocals but also the quality of the songs. Some great pompous keyboard licks have helped no end in creating the bombastic and epic nature of the songs and the little slick guitar solos help make the album feel well rounded. Obviously one of the biggest downfalls of some of the Frontiers projects is they can feel soulless as the identity of the songs is spread between so many components, but I feel Place Vendome feels more fluid and natural and again it’s the quality of the songs that shine through and wins you over.

It’s an album full of delicious melodies encapsulated in majestic grandeur with strong choruses and radio friendly hooks that melodic rock fans scream for. If you’re a fan of Kiske or the previous Place Vendome albums I guarantee you’re going to dig this one. Like I say whether you’re a fan of these projects or not, some of them are just too damn good to ignore and Thunder In The Distance is one of the best.

Place Vendome – Thunder In The Distance8 out of 10

Track Listing:

  1. Talk To Me
  2. Power Of Music
  3. Broken Wings
  4. Lost In Paradise
  5. It Can’t Rain Forever
  6. Fragile Ground
  7. Hold Your Love
  8. Never Too Late
  9. Heaven Lost
  10. My Heart Is Dying
  11. Break Out
  12. Maybe Tomorrow
  13. Thunder In The Distance