If you think about melodic rock, there are few singers out there with the pedigree, the vocal talent and the longevity to match that of Mr Joe Lynn Turner.
JLT began his career with a local band, Ezra, had success with Fandango (4 albums) followed before the well-known story of the heady times of Rainbow, Malmsteen, and Deep Purple. A successful solo career has followed and numerous projects and appearances on tracks mark him out as one of the most prolific and sought-after voices of AOR and Melodic Hard Rock.
The story of Sunstorm began with JLT getting in touch with Frontier’s President, Serafino Perugino with the idea of pulling together some songs written by JLT and others he had written for other artists. In 2006, the self-titled first album ‘Sunstorm’ was released with the second, ‘House of Dreams’ following in 2009. Emotional Fire followed in 2012 and then ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ in 2016. The latter was harder, more melodic hard rock than the earlier AOR influenced offerings.
The new album, ‘The Road To Hell’ continues in the melodic hard rock genre, a dramatic explosion of snarling, soaring riffs, up-tempo drumming, tuneful keyboard passages and probably the most important; the harder edged vocals from JLT.
‘Only The Good Will Survive’, Wow! What an opening track. The pace of the music, the strength in JLT’s vocal immediately shouts that this is melodic hard rock at its finest. A sure win on the memorable track stakes too with a catchy chorus and riff ridden guitar solos. It has an old school rock feel but with a whole load of added drama.
‘The Road To Hell’ is the title track and one which has already hit the airwaves as a taster for the album and it is a big sounding, full on hard melodic rock track. It has everything from great lyrics to a strong melody and epic keys. ‘On the Edge’ blends layers of guitars, some nice grimy riffs and it has a hard bassline thudding away and giving it a heavy edge.
‘Blind The Sky’ is full of all good things, a vibe of ‘80s rock with key changes and tidy hooks and licks. The blistering guitar solo brings a monster feel to the song. ‘My Eyes On You’ has a keyboard intro, riffling riffs building with the pace of the music and the clarity in JLT’s vocal is astounding, full of expression especially through the catchy lyrical chorus.
‘Future To Come’ allows the keyboard passages to fill out the music bringing the tempo up and gives the song a very European rock feel. A nice light piano close to the track too. ‘Everywhere’ begins with a light opening. Is this going to be the ballad on the album? The keys are very dominant in this one, the power in JLT’s more melodic voice is more than a match to the loudness of the music as it floods out the song with orchestral undertones bringing an epic feel overall.
‘Resurrection’ is loud and loaded with energy, screaming solos, hard edges on the vocal delivery. Another solid song. ‘Calling’ continues in much the same vein with faultless vocals and a richness of sound which you can only get when keyboards are involved especially when they are courtesy of Mr Del Vecchio. ‘State of the Heart’ has a keyboard driven opening which leads the guitars in packing-out the sound and delivering another song full of power, but a well-produced measured vocal keeps the energy alive throughout.
‘Still Fighting’ has a more modern rock vibe, punchy drumming, solid guitar solo and another controlled vocal over a blistering pace. A delicious melody and spot on vocal ensures the song hits the spot.
Overall this album is a great listen and one any rock fan will appreciate. There is no doubting the skill and professionalism of all those involved in its creation from the musicians themselves, (stand up Del Vecchio for some outstanding keys and Mularoni for epic guitar solos particularly), to the clever arrangements and seamless production. One teeny, tiny criticism is that a couple of the tracks, ‘Still Fighting’ and ‘State Of The Heart’ feel a little too rushed musically, I want to be able to savour and revel in the music not feel like I’m being chased towards the end.
As with everything else that JLT has an involvement in the vocals cannot be criticised. Audibly clear, melodic and hard edged, he has an ability to just find the right tone, the right emotion, the right arrangement to pull off a simply wonderful delivery. A lesson for many singers in how a controlled, beautifully melodic hard-edged vocal can be delivered. The man is ageless, he can nail the notes and create an emotion and meaning to the lyrics with his delivery.
Only The Good Will Survive
The Road To Hell
On The Edge
Blind The Sky
My Eyes On You
Future To Come
State Of The Heart
Sunstorm Band members are:
Joe Lynn Turner: Lead vocals
Nik Mazzucconi: Bass guitar
Simone Mularoni: Lead Guitar
Alessandro Del Vecchio: Keyboards
Edo Sala: Drums
Check out JLT’s discography and latest news at: