Sunday, 21 January 2018
Marc Vanderberg - Highway Demon (CD in tin can)
German guitarist Marc Vanderberg made his debut as late as 2015, but you clearly hear his influences were neatly picked from 80s bands and artists like Malmsteen, Europe and I do hear quite a bit of Obsession in there, especially in the excellent melodic hard rocker ”Blue Eyes”, where singer Raphael Gazal sounds quite close to Michael Vescera (but thankfully not as nasal). As you may have gathered by now, this is not an instrumental guitar album, but a full on band album. Melodic hard rock with a neo-classical touch, that definitely should appeal to fans of Yngwie, MVP, Royal Hunt, Obsession, Narnia etc. Marc is a great guitarist, highly influenced by the 80s shredders, with Strat sound, swift sweeps and everything. The songs, I must say, are way better than what his Swedish predecessor manages to come up with today (plus Marc has a way better singer). Another Swedish Yngwiesque shredder, Stefan Lindholm (Vindictiv), lends some licks and sweeps in the track "You’re Like A Poison". "Indespensable" has a more traditional hard rock feel to it, and could have been a Shakra or Gotthard semi-ballad (I just really hate those flap-flap bass drums that sounds like a guy playing two bass drums for the first time. Sorry). The production is ok, but the bass guitar is almost missing, I’m no fan of programmed drums (even though this sounds very good) and it wound need proper mastering. Still, it’s a pretty solid neo-classical metal album with kick-ass guitar playing and great vocals.