CD review SUNSTORM ‘Road to Hell’

(9/10) Sunstorm is the solo project of hard rock veteran Joe Lynn Turner. Twelve years ago it was the charismatic singer and Frontiers Music president Serafino Perugino that explored options for such an endeavor. Things turned out well with a self-titled debut hitting the shelves in 2006.

What started as a project found a continuation over more than a decade with three more records that have been added to the discography of Sunstorm.

2018 is the year of a new longplayer of Joe Lynn Turner and band. The new record is entitled ‘Road to Hell’ and features eleven new songs. What’s immediate recognizable with the new album is an extra portion of heaviness that’s added to this album. Not that Sunstorm turned into a harsh metal outlet, but guitars, done by DGM guitarist Simone Mularoni, got more space. Sunstorm is still about AOR but guitars make things crispier this time.

The uptempo opener ‘Only the Good Will Survive’ is a good example for not solely basing the sound on wide keyboard arrangements. The songs is a perfect start into the album, combining keyboard passages with riff power and Turner’s excellent voice. The album comprises of more of these faster songs. ‘Resurrection’, for example, is another one and also ‘Future to Come’ takes the foot off the break.

The title track slows down things. The calmer verse leads to a very rhythmic chorus. Hooks are great with this song that is a true name-giver for the entire album. What’s remarkable is the fact that ‘Road to Hell’ doesn’t really features a clicheful ballad. There’s with ‘Everywhere’ a song that’s soulful , but even this track builds up to a more powerful one after a gentle start.

Another highlight is placed more at the end of the tracklist. ‘State of the Heart’ is a grooving melodic rocker that puts a spell on you. Contemporary AOR needs to sound like this song and actually this album. Sunstorm step by step became one of the most important AOR bands these days and if you’re enthusiastic about melodic rock music, there’s no way to get around this album.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Only the Good Will Survive
  2. The Road to Hell
  3. On The Edge
  4. Blind the Sky
  5. My Eyes on You
  6. Future to Come
  7. Everywhere
  8. Resurrection
  9. Calling
  10. State of the Heart
  11. Still Fighting

 

Label: Frontiers Music

Genre: AOR

Release Date EU: June 8th, 2018

 

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