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Place Vendome

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Album Review

Former Helloween lead singer Michael Kiske returns with the surprising self-titled debut from Place Vendome. In place of Helloween's thrashy speed metal, a sound that helped pave the way for both Pantera and their followers and the Scandinavian death metal scene, Place Vendome is considerably more melodic. Place Vendome is in no way a metal album; instead, it's crisp '80s-style AOR/hard rock with glossy, commercial sound. Currently unfashionable bands along the lines of Styx and Night Ranger are Kiske's touchstones on songs like the catchy single "I Will Be Waiting" and the obligatory lighters-aloft power ballad "Heaven's Door." His primary cohort, Pink Cream 69 leader Uwe Reitenauer, does occasionally scuff up the pristine surfaces of the songs with some chunky, distorted guitar riffs, but the overall effect is no more metal than, say, Ted Nugent's contributions to Damn Yankees. Fans of old-school FM rock will approve of Place Vendome, but die-hard Helloween fans should listen before they buy.

Customer Reviews

An outstanding melodic rock-AOR album with Michael Kiske

Place Vendome is surely one of the best melodic rock releases of 2005. This is the self titled debut album of the project comprised of Dennis Ward (bass), Uwe Reitenauer (guitars) and Kosta Zafiriou (drums) from the band Pink Cream 69, Gunter Werno (Keyboards) from VandenPlas and Michael Kiske (ex-Helloween) on vocals.

Their debut album offers a wide variety of songs ranging from melodic hard rock to soft rock ballads. The band is in top form providing a strong rhythm section, brilliant guitar solos, heavy and melodic riffs and some remarkable keyboard passages. Michael Kiske’s vocals are still amazingly strong. He possesses an enormous vocal range, which he uses effortlessly throughout the album.

The most memorable songs are the melodic hard rock opener “Cross The Line” with it’s driving guitar riff and powerful chorus, the catchy AOR ballad “I Will Be Waiting”, the 70’s influenced rocker “I Will Be Gone”, the moody power ballad “The Setting Sun” and the bombastic melodic hard rock closer “Sign Of The Times”. But even the remaining songs, such as the up tempo self titled track and the AOR influenced Magic Carpet Ride are still enjoyable and great.

A very strong album if you are into melodic rock or AOR. Great melodies, strong and catchy songs and a vocal performance for the ages.

Place Vendome, Place Vendome
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