DataReleased March 2012
Genre Melodic Rock
N of discs 1
Edition date March 2012
Label Avenue of Allies
Catalog Number Avenue 12 01 0039
REVIEWER: MARC "LAZY ROCKER" SCHNEIDERS
Kurt Vereeke launched his first Frozen Rain project, which featured lots of guest vocalists and musicians like Tommy denander and Steve Newman, in 2008; the eponymous album was a testament to his love for all things 80's AOR and melodic rock and highly appreciated by the fans of these genres.
He now returns with his second effort, "Ahead of Time", another strong effort. For the follow up Kurt has assembled a solid line-up of musicians all hailing from Kurt’s native Belgium except for much-in-demand German singer Carsten ‘Lizard’ Schulz (Evidence One/Paradise Inc). On the album you’ll find Jurgen Vitrier (Keyboards), Vincent De Laat (Bass), Kurt’s Brother Hans Vereecke (Drums) & Rik Priem (Guitars). The album is mixed by Alessandro Del Vecchio and mastered by the ever popular Dennis Ward.
"Ahead of Time" turns out to have a much tougher, heavier and less keyboard driven sound than the debut album. It's very pompous, bombastic melodic rock in a kind of Jaded Heart (Michael Bormann-era) meets House of Lords style. Opener ‘Believe It Or Not’ sets out the stall for this new sound of the band just as "Forever", "Breakin' Out" and "We're Gonna Rock". Tracks with good intros, fine verses, nice build-up, but for some reason I am happy when the fifth track comes out of the speakers. "Too Late" is a classy power ballad written by Vereeke's daughter Joke.
A few spins later I know why I was so happy with the ballad: too many tracks sound the same, most likely it's because the lack of choruses that stick in your head. And that's a shame because that's the cream on the dessert (a Dutch saying but I think you know what I mean). There isn't any weak song on the album, it's only some tunes are suffering of somewhat weak choruses.
Other noteworthy tracks include full force rocker "The Last Dance Ain't Over" which has a storming energy and the title track which is a slow burner with guitars building to a strong chorus. The album finishes with a fine melodic rock instrumental, "Voodoo Party".
"Ahead Of Time" is a perfect album for fans of upbeat Melodic Hard Rock. I’m sure most will be pleased. IMO if several tracks had stronger choruses the album could grow into a classic in its genre. But hey... don't let me spoil the fun. It's a good album anyway and some tunes will make it to my iPod for sure!!
Kurt Vereecke – Keyboards, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar & Backing Vocals
Carsten "Lizard" Schulz - Lead & Backing Vocals
Rik Priem - Lead, Rhythm & Acoustic Guitars
Vincent De Laat - Bass Guitar
Hans Vereecke - Drums
Jurgen Vitrier - Keyboards
Chris Swinney - Backing vocals on tracks 1 & 9, Voice on track 11
Drums, keyboards & bass guitar recorded @ ‘Frozen Rain Studio’, Aalter/Belgium
Vocals Carsten Schulz recorded and arranged by Steffen Seeger @ ‘Seegewerk Studio’, Mannheim/Germany
Keyboards Jurgen Vitrier recorded @ ‘VIT Studio’, Lessines/Belgium
Guitars Rik Priem recorded @ ‘Mr Cool Studio’, Bekegem/Belgium
Backing vocals Chris Swinney recorded @ ‘The Crossing Studio’ , West Lilburn/England
Produced by Frozen Rain
Executive producer: Gregor Klee
Mixed by Alessandro Del Vecchio
Mastered by Dennis Ward
Artwork & design by Arnaud Leger
Photography by Peter Vyncke
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