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On disc: House Of Games

- Rise And Shine - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars

Rise And Shine

Rise And Shine
(RAM Music - 2007)

Can you name a band from Estonia? Well, the country isn't widely known for its music, but with House Of Games you get high class rock / AOR from the Estonian capital Tallinn!
The band was founded back in 1994 and had to go through changes. But they survived! Singer and founder Erik Meremaa kept going and in summer 2006 they recorded Rise And Shine at Seawolf Studios in Finland and it was mixed by Hiili Hiilesmaa at FinnVox. The mastering was done by Howie Weinberg at Masterdisk Studios NYC.
The album opens up with some heavy guitar riffs, then the band joins in and with My Child you get the first impression of the melodic hard rock of the Estonians. With catchy melodies and emotional vocals they soon enchant you, but they can rock, too. The five-some manages to combine heavy guitars, beautiful keyboard lines and emotional words to a slightly melancholy rocker. After listening to the opener I knew this album would stay in my player for awhile! They already had me with this one! And luckily the other songs keep the level and make it a pure pleasure to listen. The guys know when to play heavy, crunchy riffs and when its time to let keyboarder Jevgeni Babkin take over the lead. With Hunter they get a bit heavier and present an ear catcher! This one will haunt you for awhile! The following Ave Maria shows a new facet of their sound! The keyboard adds some bombastic sound, while the guitar riffing is very modern. A walk on the edge between modern rock and bombastic sounds. A balladesque one they offer with Friend. A homage to a friend.... Touching without being cheesy. Especially Spanish Man has this 80's feeling, but it just feels right. Authentic. Okay, the keyboard don't fit to the 80's, but to this song!
I highly recommend this album to fans of Joe Lynn Turner, Giant, Alliance, Damn Yankees, House Of Lords and other hard rock / AOR bands. Give it a try! But be aware, this one is highly addictive! Check out: Hunter, Evil In Needle, Friend and Sugar And Spice.

9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


           2008-2010 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail:

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