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Vandenberg - 1983 Heading For A Storm

ARTIST: Vandenberg
ALBUM: Heading For A Storm
SERIAL: 90121-1
YEAR: 1983
CD REISSUE: 2002, Wounded Bird (USA), WOU 9121


LINEUP: Bert Heerink - vocals * Adrian Vandenberg - guitars, keyboards, backing vocals * Dick Kemper - bass, backing vocals * Jos Zoomer - drums, backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Friday Night * 02 Welcome To The Club * 03 Time Will Tell * 04 Different Worlds * 05 This Is War * 06 I'm On Fire * 07 Headed For A Storm * 08 Rock On * 09 Waiting For The Night

1983 saw the follow-up to the debut Vandenberg album from the previous year. Where that album was a bonafide metal album with emphasis on guitars, 'Heading For A Storm' sees the band moving into the AOR/ melodic hard rock camp. No complaints I hear many of you say, though it did stop the band from taking the heavy route, which Euro bands like The Scorpions and Krokus would exploit to their benefit in the USA during the 1983-1985 period. I'm pretty certain had Vandenberg gone down that path, things may have been much different (i.e. better) for them. As it turned out, their path led them down an alternative route, and though musically good, 'Heading For A Storm' could've been a wholly different proposition altogether.

The Songs
I liked the opener 'Friday Night' with its happy-go-lucky Coney Hatch like approach to hard rock. The riff on 'Welcome To The Club' is reminiscent of the debut's 'Back On My Feet', though it soon takes on it's own character. 'Time Will Tell' is play-by-numbers melodic rock, Side One topped by the simply lovely ballad 'Different Worlds', it comes closest to radio potential but at 4 and half minutes, it's about a minute too long. 'This Is War' could surely be Yngwie Malmsteen, the guitar lines and vocal choruses are a deadringer. Did Yngwie steal all of Adrian's ideas? lol! 'I'm On Fire' is Vandenberg's answer to wet matches! This song is not gonna set the world on fire, it plods mainly, it could be Uriah Heep on a bad day, but then again, the Heepsters would probably eat this for breakfast. Thankfully the band save their best work for last. The title track 'Heading For A Storm' gives us some encouragement, despite the dopey lyrics, 'Rock On' maybe basic rock n roll fodder, but it's delivered rather convincingly, whereas 'Waiting For The Night' could also be lined up squarely against Malmsteen's 80's material, and ends the album positively. The flamenco intro and nimble lead guitar reminds everyone who the star of the show is!

In Summary
A good album, though there is no track that screams out 'play me on the radio', though 'Different Worlds' came close. I believe it was actually released as a just forget everything I said! Lol! Though it tends to the commercial side of the fence, there is enough of Vandenberg 's identity (the band that is) to know who they are at first listen. So they're not that faceless after all.

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#1 | Eric on October 30 2009 12:22:57
Saw these guys open for Kiss on the 'Lick It Up' tour. They used a large version of the album cover as a backdrop and I was taken by how small height-wise the vocalist was! That aside, they played a strong set and remember thinking they could very well go on to bigger things. 'Burning Heart' from the first record got the biggest crowd reaction but so did the stuff from this album.

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