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Vanderhoof - "A Blur In Time"
SPV 2002

The second solo album is complete hard rock made in directions and further dimensions of the debut release. There wasn’t even the smallest possible trace left that would probably lead to a conclusion that Kurdt Vanderhoof is the leader of Metal Church. A new Vanderhoof release has again nothing to do with Meal Church. A complete deviation that has nothing familiar with American old school heavy metal. An album that reminds me most of Uriah Heep's 1995 brilliant work "Sea Of Light" (especially songs as "30 Thousand Ft.", "Nowhere Train" or "Sonic Blur" are done in Heep's character. As this record would be released for Heep fans to ease their hunger while waiting for the new Heep record to be released.

Nice try, Kurdt. This is one of the nicest surprises I've heard this year. Alive sound, guitars and Hammond organ are in great ambiental and dynamics balance. Great acoustical intros, especially that one in "High St.", which is followed by hammonds and guitars together joining in a heavy riff. Fat melodic bass line and drums, which are played by Kurdt’s Metal Church companion Kirk Arrington, ensure quality rhythm section.

Drew Hart's vocals fit perfectly into Vanderhoof’s style of music. Mainly clean and strong vocal, that comes out in certain parts of songs, sometimes a bit rough. The guy shows a great feeling for improvisation, which contributes that this record is very much alive.

As if the boys went through purifying fire and now they offer us crystal clear music. A past voice of presence. Music lost in time. Seventies hard rock legacy with modern touches. Music that goes from its first beat straight into your ears. The band delivers beautiful and very compact compositions.

"3 AM" is the specialty of the record. It's opening riff is complete Black Sabbath heaviness combined with progressive drum beat element, and where guitar fades out, the bass guitar takes the main role of carrying forward that same riff (as Gezzer Butler would join the band). In chorus (similar to Ayreon) Hammonds, guitars (uf, a pure Gibson sound) and vocals strike as one with full force.

"Surface Of Another Planet" is an instrumental work, done only by keyboards (in Yes or ELP orientations) and serves as a fine intro followed by another great hard rock attack "Sleeping Giant". This is a nostalgic music, great compositions, pure hard rock and confusion of Hammonds, Gibson guitars and alive rhythm section with slightly progressive touches.

Stuff for Uriah Heep fans.

Author:   Ale¹

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