Sunstorm – The Road To Hell
Review by Adam McCann
Frontiers Records – 2018 – Hard Rock/AOR
When Joe Lynn Turner announced in 2014 that he had assembled a new band of recognisable names and called themselves Rated X, it left many unsure on where it would leave Turner’s AOR project Sunstorm. The Rated X divergence would never seem to never live up to its hype and before too long, Turner would return to Sunstorm. However, he would take a leaf out of the Rated X distraction and 2016’s ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ would follow a much heavier sound that would continue into the bands latest album ‘Road To Hell’.
‘Road to Hell’ is the product of an evolution that has seen the band shake off many of its AOR beginnings and take on the shape of a European sounding hard rock. Sunstorm have that authentic mature sound, the band members know where its at and how to get that warm, familiar melodious sound that only dyed in the wool musicians can find. As always, Turner’s voice is superb throughout and although its sounds more aged, it is still as fresh and flawless as it sounded with Rainbow and Yngwie Malmsteen. Yet, for ‘Road to Hell’, the plaudits go to Alessandro Del Vecchio who once again hands out another masterclass in song writing and keyboards as Del Vecchio delivers the same professionalism that he handed out to Jorn, Voodoo Circle and Hardline with tracks such as ‘Resurrection’, ‘Only The Good Survive and the title track itself.
However, for what is a blessing with having Del Vecchio on board is also the cross to bear for ‘Road to Hell’ as the production that is given to the album, although very good and audibly pleasing, it is unfortunately indistinguishable to the next ‘big’ album from Frontiers seemingly placed within the cookie cutter sound which really does let the album down.
As an album ‘Road to Hell’ is enjoyable, worth a listen and as expected, the musicianship is second to none. Yet, ultimately, there are better albums that have been released this year, but for Sunstorm, this is a serious step in the right direction.
Rating : 74/100
MHF Magazine/Adam McCann