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On disc: Empire

- Hypnotica - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars


(Lion Music - 2001)

Another all-star project... What to expect? Often this kind of projects are disappointing and there are doubts that it's just greed which make the musicians recording. Musically the songs are hard rock in the vain of MSG and Rainbow, but that is something I expected when I read the names of the involved musicians: singer Mark Boals (Malmsteen, Ring Of Fire, etc.), bassist Neil Murray (Black Sabbath, Whitesnake, etc.), drummer Anders Johansson (ex-Malmsteen, Hammerfall), keyboarder Don Airey (ex-Rainbow, MSG, Ozzy, Whitesnake, etc.). But not just these known musicians took part, there are also singer Lance King, guitarist Rolf Munkes and drummer Gerald Kloos. And perhaps that's the problem, the I miss a homogeneity. Songs like the title track, Spread My Wings and Here I Am are the highlights of this album. Others are on an average level (e.g. Bad, Bad Boy), to good enough to keep the high standard.
My personal highlight is the ballad Spread My Wings which would have be a smash hit ten years ago when hard rock and melodic rock were top. But even with this deficit Hypnotica is better than many other releases.

7 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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