Power of Metal.dk Review

Vandenberg's Moonkings
Vandenberg's Moonkings
Style: Hard Rock
Release date: 24 February, 2014
Playing time: 51:25

The great Dutch guitar hero Adrian Vandenberg is back with a brand new band! With some stunning albums with 'Vandenberg' in the 80's, the melodic rock band had a international hit with the powerful ballad ‘Burning Heart’. Adrian solidified his status as one of the most talented rock guitarists around when he joined Coverdale in his supergroup Whitesnake, co-writing many of their hits; ‘The Deeper The Love’ and ‘Now You’re Gone’, and supplying the magic guitar solo to ‘Here I Go Again’. After leaving Whitesnake, Adrian concentrated on his successful career as an artist, exhibiting his paintings in galleries all over Europe.

He was playing guitars in the same sphere as string giants like: Eddie Van Halen, Gary Moore, Randy Rhoads, Slash, Steve Vai and Paul Gilbert. I went bananas when I first heard about this album through my editor, because Adrian ruled the world for several years in the 80's and suddenly he was gone from the big stages and went into another path in his life. Music however was always prevalent on his mind, so as soon as he had the opportunity to work with some very talented young musicians, he started creating new rock n roll.

I'm very, very happy that he is back again and I appreciates that he's releasing this disc, which has big doses of the groovy blues hard rock that feels timeless. I get the feeling that he has been working quite much on these songs, because I can't find one filler song in the tracklist. Jan Hoving on vocals is a real powerhouse and he sounds quite similar to the young Coverdale. Groovy, heavy, classic hard rock with stylish guitars and a ton of the "snake" sound. Btw, David Coverdal is guest singing on the closing ballad 'Sailing Ships'! It's quite diverse style in the songs, but the blues mood is always present and Jan's vocals is just superb.

In some of the tracks he sings similar to Ian Astbury (The Cult) and he sings with a "wide open mouth" and gives the lyrics their clout and pureness. Just listen to the excellent ballad 'Out of Reach'. Adrian doesn't put himself in the first row on the album and I could wish for more of his extraordinary guitar playing in some of the songs. Sem and Mart in the rhythm section is the foundation in Moonking's sound and Adrian spices it all up with some thrilling string magic. In 'Nothing Touches' it swings as if the Scott brothers in AC/DC were playing. The opening track 'Lust and Lies' is also a killer track which grabs my spine and shakes it around. 'Close to You', 'Good Things' and 'Steal Away' are some of the best songs and are three steaming blues rock tracks.

Overall is this a rather mature rock album to the fans of the blues based rock n roll. At a consistently high quality level the thirteen tracks, but without any super hits. A promising debut that leaves me with a feeling that I want more and this must give Adrian the confidence to continue writing music and invest more time in this project. My thumbs are up! 

Vandenberg's Moonkings:
Adrian Vandenberg - Guitar
Jan Hoving - Vocals
Sem Christoffel - Bass
Mart Nijen Es - Drums

01. Lust and Lies
Close to You
Good Things
Steal Away
Line of Fire
Out of Reach
Feel It
Leave This Town
One Step Behind
12. Nothing Touches
13. Sailing Ships (Ft. David Coverdale)
Label: Mascot Label Group
Distribution: Warner Music (Denmark)
Artwork rating: 80/100
Reviewed by: Patrik Skoglund
Date: 17 February, 2014
Website: www.moonkingsband.com