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On disc: Cem Köksal

- Live!! - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars


Cem Köksal feat. Joe Lynn Turner - Live!!
(Balet Plak Records - 2007)

Every hard rock fan knows Joe Lynn Turner, but only a few - mainly the Turkish - will know Cem Köksal. Köksal is quite known in Turkey and plays neoclassical metal which get him compared with Yngwie Malmsteen. He asked Joe Lynn Turner to join him for a few shows in Turkey in spring 2006. Mr. Turner agreed and so they played a couple of shows in university cities in Turkey. It only were a few concerts, but more then 35,000 people came to see them live. This album - and also the DVD - are documenting this tour.
After the intro they start of with Set Me Free - the title track of Köksal's debut album. At least this track is more hard rock then neoclassical metal... But I don't know Köksal's work, so I can't tell much about him, but this will change! But part of the set were songs from Turner's day in Rainbow and Deep Purple - and so classics everybody knows. The other tracks been off Köksal's debut album, but fit very well into the set and it seems they were written for Joe Lynn Turner. Sure, they songs sound a bit different.. A bit more powerful and Perfect Stranger is a bit more aggressive - partly. Koray Alarslan adds to his keyboard melody some Turkish scales which fits good and makes this cover unique. It's cool! On Earthquake Part 1 of Köksal's Set Me Free Çagatay Ates (bass) and Alpay Salt (drums) built the perfect playground for Cem Köksal's guitar play on this instrumental piece. Winding Road is a keyboard carried balladesque tune with JLT at his best! Later the guitar accompanies the keyboard with riffs and adds some heaviness. The guitar solo is supporting the song and not a mere demonstration of technical skills.
Mozart's Rondo alla Turca have been covered by modern bands a couple of time and I think in this case it's more a matter of taste then on any other music piece.
Sure, the Deep Purple classics are the highlights, but if you get used to the other tracks, then they can competed with them and who knows, perhaps they become classics one day...
Well, the CD - and also the DVD - are only released in Turkey, but there soon shall be a possibility to order it through Cem Köksal's website... If you get a chance to grab a copy and you like the songs, the voice of Joe Lynn Turner, then I can highly recommended this album! A must-have!

Track list:

Set Me Free
I Surrender
Perfect Strangers
Earthquake Part I
Winding Road
Rondo Alla Turca
Spotlight Kid
Blood On Blood
Smoke On The Water

9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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