Sunstorm - Sunstorm
Frontiers Records
Melodic Rock / AOR
12 songs (52'59)
Release year: 2006
Frontiers Records
Reviewed by Ben

A little back story on this release: Apparently much of the music contained herein was supposed to wind up on Joe Lynn Turner’s second solo album back in the eighties. Obviously that idea never came to be. Fast forward to about now and Frontiers has called up Turner and requested him to put together a unit and record those old songs and throw in newer tracks and voila, you have Sunstorm. The end result is some massive AOR anthems and a great record that really is meant to be played at maximum volume.

The music here while sounding very much like a tremendous arena rock album of the decadent decade does have an updated polished feel. This has much to do with Dennis Ward of Pink Cream 69 working his magic behind the knobs. He gives tracks like Fame And Fortune a sweet shimmer of aural hue that sends the impact of the drums pounding into your head and tacks on a sharp edge to the guitar leads and melodies. There is a somewhat darkened tinge to the vibe of the album which is a unique surprise. Even though on first impression an upbeat rock track like Love’s Gone Wrong seems to be a foot stomper at heart, Turner has an authentic sounding angry tone to his voice that belies a serious undertone to his singing. More than a few ballads are here but one stands out the most, Heart Over Mind. A Queen like bridge coupled with the crunchy chorus makes this a ballad with balls spared of any horribly sappy lyrics. Night Moves (no, not a Bog Seger cover, Metallica already tried that) has a Miami Vice sounding keyboard intro but slowly builds up into a pretty ravishing flourish and a monster chorus. The vocal phrasing that Turner gives the verses deserves a nod for their simple but tension raising effectiveness. My personal favorite would have to be the Bryan Adams sounding This Is My Heart. Yeah I know the title’s a bit iffy, but you can’t argue with anything else about it. Similar to Night Moves with the way that there is a climbing motion in how the verses are structured, this has much more guitar than the aforementioned number. The lyrics are all about Turner belting out life affirming words in a “this is who I am” type of way. It’s essentially one of those songs that wakes you the fuck up at seven in the morning when you blast it which is always a nice thing to have on an album.

Frontiers Records likes to put out albums like this. Sunstorm is kind of along the same lines as Place Vendome in that they are both put together albums on behest of the label that feature a semi-known singer (Kiske, Turner). I really doubt a follow up is going to take place anytime soon so enjoy Sunstorm. While it may bog down near the end with one too many ballads there are some songs here that are pure gold. Hard rock aficionados would be wise to snatch this one up.

Killing Songs :
Keep Tonight, This Is My Heart, Night Moves, Love's Gone Wrong
Ben quoted 83 / 100
Other albums by Sunstorm that we have reviewed:
Sunstorm - The Road to Hell reviewed by Andy and quoted 79 / 100
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