AOR Heaven www.aorheaven.net [Released 27.01.14]
An interesting one this as it sees the return of legendary drummer Lee Kerslake of Uriah Heep and Ozzy Osbourne fame, working with Stefan Berggren, who has sung in a number of bands including Company Of Snakes and Razorback. The duo are joined by Tomas Thorberg (Snakes In Paradise/John Norum) on bass, as Stefan not only sings but plays guitar and most of the keyboards on the album.
This is cracking listen it has to be said covering 70’s Uriah Heep sounds on ‘Super Sonic Dream’ through to the delightful title track, a laid back rock tune underpinned by some tasty Hammond.
The good thing on this album is that Stefen steps away from the Coverdale-isms he had on Company Of Snakes, although the title track is a song you could see Whitesnake having fun with. He has a fine, powerful and melodic vocal, ideally suited to the songs on here.
‘Back On The Road Again’ and ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Gangsta’ see the pace picked up, both again are led by organ riffs and not a flashy guitar solo to be heard. ‘Born Again’ builds to a big crescendo of harmony vocals, percussion and an uplifting melody. Maybe lacking a no holds bar rocker to shake things up a little, otherwise not a bad tune in sight.
Good start to 2014 by the AOR Heaven label and hopefully Berggren and Kerslake will work together again very soon. Possibly even a few live dates although not so likely as Lee Kerslake retired from touring when he left Uriah Heep. If you like 70’s era Uriah Heep and Whitesnake I’d be very surprised if you didn’t enjoy this album. ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
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