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Articles Home » 2016 Articles » Palace (Sweden) - 2016 Master Of The Universe
Palace (Sweden) - 2016 Master Of The Universe

ARTIST: Palace (Sweden)
ALBUM: Master Of The Universe
LABEL: Frontiers
YEAR: 2016


LINEUP: Michael Palace - vocals, guitar * Rick Digorio - guitar * Marcus Johansson - drums * Soufian Ma'Aoui - bass

TRACK LISTING: 01 Master Of The Universe * 02 Cool Runnin' * 03 Man Behind The Gun * 04 Part Of Me * 05 No Exit * 06 Matter In Hand * 07 Path To Light * 08 Rules Of The Game * 09 She Said It's Over * 10 Stranger's Eyes * 11 Young-Wild-Free


WEBLINKS: Palace Music FB Page

Palace (the band) is the vehicle for new Swedish talent Michael Palace. Both a guitarist and singer, he came to our attention on the recent First Signal album 'One Step Over The Line', and since then he's moved on in leaps and bounds. Bringing in Daniel Flores on keyboard and production duties has added a glossy sheen to precedings. Thankfully it's not quite as similar to Flores' work with Find Me (which I love by the way), but some variation to the material would've been appreciated, and I think that's been achieved here. Palace appears to be a band situation now, with bassist Soufian Ma'Aoui from Houston and drummer Marcus Johansson (appearances with Reach as well as Adrenaline Rush) now in tow. But mostly, the ideas for Palace have come from Michael and Daniel Flores.

The Songs
Onto the album then, Michael has this definite Steve Newman vocal thing going on, so if you like much of Newman's back catalog, then you'll enjoy this. 'Masters Of The Universe' is top-heavy with its guitar and keyboard fusion. The opening salvo of the title track and 'Cool Runnin' lay down Palace's approach to this album, very stylish and high-energy. 'Man Behind The Gun' features a Def Leppard opening sequence, but overall this is a song of depth and restrained power. When it comes to ballads, Palace deliver in spades. 'Part Of Me' and 'Rules Of The Game' are exquisite to say the least. Further highlights include 'Matter In Hand' which takes modern day AOR up to new heights. The chorus is massive. Stabbing keys introduce 'Path To Light', the song makes for compulsory listening, and not too far away from that, you can 'She Said It's Over' and 'Strangers Eyes', each with their own compelling attributes. The band leave their most racy effort till last. Young/Wild/Free' provides an insight into what Palace are capable, and if that song was a preview of what is to come in future (like a TV show trailer), then we should all be in for a treat.

In Summary
As an aside, I read an interesting review of this album written in the context of the Retrowave genre. Sure, some musical parts and arrangements have some similarity but I'm not sure Palace's songs would make a good fit on an 80's Soundtrack album for instance. What you can be assured of though, is one of the better AOR /melodic rock releases over the 2016 summer. Will it make my Best of Year list? Well, you'll have to wait and see. In the meantime, give this one some healthy listening time.

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#1 | gdazegod on September 09 2016 01:13:34
Palace - 2016 Master Of The Universe
YouTube Video:

[url=]Direct to YouTube[/youtube]
#2 | englandashes on December 31 2016 22:07:47
Wow, finally took the cellophane off this one, excellent way to see in the next year. Pretty excellent and no need for repeated listens to pick up on the tracks. Love the bing bong keyboards.
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