September 4, 2022

It came as a shock when Sunstorm vocalist Joe Lynn Turner was replaced for 2021’s Afterlife with the band, and I quote – making a ‘deliberate decision with Afterlife to reposition Sunstorm closer to the melodic AOR sound of their early records’. A pity as I thought the move that Sunstorm was making towards a more metal sound was a logical development for a band which had formed in 1999. However, this, it seems, did not fit in with plans so out went Turner but in came the singing sensation that is Ronnie Romero which obviously went a long way towards mollifying the fans. The plan was for a more melodic rock approach somewhat similar to Rainbow after Rising so basically it is ’80s themed melodic rock from the likes of Boston, Journey and Foreigner that the band is now pursuing and this was showcased so perfectly on album number 6 which was Afterlife and a fabulous rocking album it was too.

Now that the ghost of Turner has been laid to rest the band has taken very little time to immediately follow up last year’s release with Brothers In Arms so very much a case of striking whilst the iron is hot! Romero remains in the hot seat but then this guy is one of the hottest properties around so if you have him then you hold on to him and very tightly too. Bassist Nik Mazzucconi (Labyrinth), drummer Michele Sanna and keyboardist Alessandro Del Vecchio also return but then this is Del Vecchio’s band and he will be around for a long as there is a Sunstorm. There has been one major change with the DGM guitarist Simone Mularoni not being involved which is a great pity as he is an amazing shredder with an ability to change styles and deliveries at the drop of a hat and his soloing is truly sublime. However, there is always a bright new thing out there and incoming is Luca Princiotta of Doro and Blaze fame and he has slotted seamlessly into the team. Del Vecchio remains the principle songwriter although several are co-shared with Princiotta also being involved in the process and if you know the work of Del Vecchio then you will already know that he has the ability to write stunning metal songs that are both loud and heavy but also contain plenty of melody and lots of hooks making them all very radio friendly in the same way that the best melodic rock songs of the ’70s and ’80s were. This means that the material is immediately accessible and Brothers In Arms soon becomes a very good friend with a set of songs that you cannot get out of your head.

The guitar and keyboards are exemplary with Princiotta laying down very many excellent and exciting solos but it is the voice of Ronnie Romero that continues to captivate as this man is a once in a generation sensation. As I said on the review of Afterlife this is very much a Sunstorm album but you will assuredly detect a vibe of Rainbow, Sons Of Apollo and The Ferrymen but this is hardly surprising as this is very much the territory that Sunstorm want to be in and they do it very, very well.

If you are a fan then you will ,no doubt, already have the album but if you are new and looking for a new melodic hard rock band to champion then look no further as Sunstorm has everything required to fill all of your hard rock desires and then some!

Afterlife

  1. Brothers In Arms (4:43)
  2. Games We Play (3:59)
  3. I’ll Keep Holding On (4:23)
  4. I Will Remember (4:05)
  5. No Turning Back (3:50)
  6. Back My Dreams (4:28)
  7. Taste Of Heaven (4:20)
  8. Lost In The Shadows Of Love (3:18)
  9. Hold The Night (4:10)
  10. Miracle (4:10)
  11. Living Out Of Fear (3:15)