‘Vandenberg 2020’ has lots of good tracks, but I had hoped for a stronger album than this, considering the extremely strong lineup on the album.
Written by: DEMONAOR
LABEL: Mascot Records
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Netherlands
LINEUP: Ronnie Romero – lead vocals * Adrian Vandenberg – guitars * Randy van der Elsen – bass * Koen Herfst – drums, backing vocals
Additional Musicians: Rudy Sarzo – bass * Brian Tichy – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Shadows Of The Night * 02 Freight Train * 03 Hell And High Water * 04 Let It Rain * 05 Ride Like The Wind * 06 Shout * 07 Shitstorm * 08 Light Up The Sky * 09 Burning Heart 2020 * 10 Skyfall
WEBLINKS: FB Page
It’s been exactly 35 years since the last issue of a record under the name Vandenberg. Since then, guitarist, songwriter and lead man Adrian Vandenberg has gone on to fame as one of David Coverdale‘s most trusted men in Whitesnake during the 80’s and 90’s.
Now however, Vandenberg (the man) has found that it is time for Vandenberg (the band) to return, but he has upgraded the personnel around him considerably.. First and foremost, it is the inclusion of vocalist Ronnie Romero, last observed on Ritchie Blackmore‘s right side during Rainbow‘s reunion concerts in recent years, which has sharpened Adrian’s appetite.
The album opens with the first single ‘Shadows Of The Night’, a fast rocker meant to kick ass, but the song itself is not strong enough to impress me. On the other hand, the mid-tempo song ‘Let It Rain’ sits like a bullet, with a catchy chorus sticking to the brain, showing the melodic Adrian Vandenberg at his best.
They have made a new recording of the ballad ‘Burning Heart’, which was a hit in 1983. And certainly Ronnie Romero is a much better and stronger vocalist than Bert Heerink was, but I’m not sure if the song has been significantly improved with the new version. There is something about not changing what was near perfect in the first place.
It is also easy to poke at the lyrics when not written by an English-speaking person – here are the cliches in line, with phrases and titles you’ve heard a thousand times before. Especially ‘Shout’, it stands out with phrases like ‘Stand up and shout, let your voice be heard loud and proud’. But you can always live with it if the songs are strong enough, and the album ends on a high with the tough ‘Skyfall’.
‘Vandenberg 2020’ has lots of good tracks, but I had hoped for a stronger album than this, especially considering the extremely strong lineup on the album. Ronnie Romero sings amazingly well, and Adrian Vandenberg still delivers some of the most memorable and melodic guitar solos in the industry. It is good to have Vandenberg back in the running, and we are crossing our fingers to make it possible to see this band on stage soon.
Shadows Of The Night
Hell and High Water
Let It Rain
Light Up The Sky
Ride Like The Wind