Album review: SUNSTORM- The Road to Hell

(Release Date 08.06.18)

The Sunstorm studio projects, now over a decade old, can be viewed in two distinct phases. A vehicle for legendary singer Joe Lynn Turner, the first three records were a showcase for his more AOR side with a series of songs largely penned by outside writers, many of which had been previously recorded by other artists.

‘Road to Hell’  follows its predecessor, 2016’s ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ in teaming him with Frontiers’ resident keyboard wizard and songwriter Alessandro Del Vecchio and other Italian musicians, including guitarist Simone Mularoni, for a sound more akin to the melodic hard rock of Rainbow and Deep Purple, perhaps the two acts the veteran singer is most remembered for.

Recorded before his recent heart scare, the good news is that JLT’s voice sounds sharp and crystal crisp and clear, to best effect on the stately, menacing title track which has the air of a more melodic Dio. The fact he has co-written all but one song gives the album a more coherent identity but, while well constructed, the songs are let down by a rather sterile production with a weak drum sound that feels like an afterthought.

The likes of ‘Blind the Sky’ are reminiscent of what for me was one of his finest hours with the Hughes Turner Project in the early 2000’s, the only complaint being that the tempo and style of the songs are too similar, although ‘State of the Heart’ harks back to the more melodic direction of the earlier albums.

Finally midway through there is a change of pace in ‘Everywhere’,  an epic,  piano led ballad with many of Del Vecchio’s hallmarks of his writing for the likes of Hardline and Revolution Saints.

In contrast the following track ‘Resurrection’ is faster paced and the Purple and Rainbow comparisons come thick and fast. It is also one of the songs on which the Hammond organ is the prominent keyboard sound. Personally I think the overall vibe of this album would have benefited from the balance being tipped further in this direction.

While a solid release which shows off JLT’s evergreen voice, its rather generic feel and disappointing production mean that it fails to stand out from a crowded field.

*** 3/4

Review by Andy Nathan

The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk Sunday 21 March 16:00 EST, 21:00 GMT

Watch again

More about Josh

David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 14 March 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at for that week.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 23 March 2021.

Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Featured Albums w/c 5 April 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 GARY HUGHES Decades (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 METALITE A Virtual World (AFM Records)
14:00-16:00 KAT DANSER One Eye Open (indie)

Power Plays w/c 5 April 2021 (Mon-Fri)

ALTZI Point Of No Return (RA Music)
DIRTY LACES Breathe (Golden Robot Records)
ASHEN MOON Ashen Moon (Golden Robot Records)
ANDREWW Shadow Love (indie)
JORDAN RED Freak Show (indie)
HAYES & Y Empty Orchestra (indie)
KELSEY BOVEY Another World (indie)
NEPTUNE RAIN We Breathe The Same (indie)

Popular (last 30 days)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in ALBUM REVIEWS, ALBUM REVIEWS (Mobile), All Posts and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply