September 20, 2022

Taboo is the latest new band on the Frontiers label and surely is destined to be a hard rock group on everyone’s wish list. Taboo is basically the pairing of the mighty guitarist Ken Hammer of Pretty Maids fame and a new vocalist to me by the name of Christoffer Stjerne. He is also the vocalist with the Danish Band H.E.R.O. which has released three albums to date being particularly well selling in Denmark and Japan with Stjerne also being a producer, songwriter and engineer.

The H.E.R.O. albums seem a little difficult to track down but a quick listen on one of the popular streaming services shows the band to be a rather good hard rock outfit with Stjerne having a quite exceptional voice. He does have a sound rather similar to that of Adam Lambert and Chris Daughtry being full of power, might and with an incredible range. Of course, Ken Hammer needs no introduction being a founder member of the Pretty Maids, an exceptional guitarist and quite brilliant multi-instrumentalist too. Indeed, Hammer and Stjerne provide all the instrumentation on the album as well with just a couple of guests helping out with Claus Langeskov playing bass on tracks 1, 3, 4, 5, Mat Sinner on bass on tracks 2 and 11 and Anders Kirkegaard offering drums on track 1 so it is pretty much the Hammer/Stjerne show all round!

The music isn’t Pretty Maids but there is a flavour of this great band in there for sure but Hammer has purposely steered clear of comparisons with probably the greatest band in Denmark to produce an exception melodic rock album that, for sure, has a melodic pop sensibility and a touch progressive rock too but the overall sound calls to mind the likes of AOR era Whitesnake, a bit of Lizzy with maybe a touch of bands like Alter Bridge so that everything has a fresh and modern twist. Indeed, they have managed to cover all rock bases so that this is a timeless, classic rock album that everyone can listen to and will find something in there to move them be it Hammer’s sensationally emotive guitar work or the sublime and rich voice of Stjerne too. The songs are all perfect moments of magic allowing Stjerne to announce that he truly deserves a voice on the world stage and if you ever had any doubt about Ken Hammer being a metal god then this album will serve notice that he has few equals as a guitarist.

Lots of riffs and searing guitar breaks with all the expected melody plus plenty of hooks to keep you royally entertained meaning that this Taboo album is an essential release and must have items that will surely score high in the usual end of years polls. Sheer magnificence!

Taboo

  1. Flames (4:19)
  2. Bleeding (3:35)
  3. Learning To Breathe (4:35)
  4. Demons (3:41)
  5. Into The Sun (3:13)
  6. Powerless (3:56)
  7. It’s About Time (3:39)
  8. See You Again (4:01)
  9. Sensational (3:46
  10. Daydream (4:33)