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Articles Home » 2002 Articles » Vanderhoof - 2002 A Blur In Time
Vanderhoof - 2002 A Blur In Time

Kurdt Vanderhoof - guitars
Kirk Arrington - drums
Drew Hart - vocals
Brian Cokeley - keyboards
Chris Jacobsen - bass

Those familiar with the band Metal Church will be equally familiar with the name Kurdt Vanderhoof, their guitarist. When MC disbanded in 1993, Kurdt went on to form Hall Aflame, but by 1997 had a hankering to do something else on his own, hence the band Vanderhoof. Original name huh? The debut album which came out that year was a promising affair, hard rock mainly, with a smokin' southern guitar flavour to it. By all accounts this album is well worth tracking down. While Vanderhoof were getting themselves established, Metal Church decided to do the reformation thing, and by 1999 were themselves back on the map. So we have Vanderhoof involved with two outfits, which in itself is not unusual. Just ask Dream Evil's Gus G about multiple personalities!!

The Songs
Vanderhoof's second album 'A Blur In Time' is a bit of a pleasant surprise to be honest. It's nowhere near the riffarama to be found on Metal Church albums, nor does it have any southern pretensions. Just listen to all the keyboards on this album, and you'll be thinking of bands like Cornerstone, Guild Of Ages/Axe, and dare I say it.. Styx. Just listen to Drew Hart's voice on occasion and tell me you can't hear Dennis De Young in there. Also the keyboard work on tracks like 'Brand New Light' and 'Surface Of Another Planet' is straight outta 'The Grand Illusion' era. Woah! What's going on here? No, it ain't pomp as such, just a fantastic mixture of swirling hard rock styles which work supremely well. Starting out with the mid-pace chugga chugga of the impressive '30 Thousand Feet' and finishing off with the galloping rhythms of 'Sonic Blur', the album, and all points in-between will take you on a ride that's worth listening to! For example, old-style 80's hard rock is revisited with 'Electric Love Song', a throwback to bands who liked to have that organ sound running through their music, a la Axe and Uriah Heep. Contrasting that is the acoustic ballad 'High Street', that (thankfully) loses its twangy sound to a full-on electric bludgeon part way through. Another change-up is the melodic majesty of 'Unchanged'. Wow, this is great, and demonstrates the true potential of this band. 'If Theres A Song' has a grandiose feel to it; that keyboard solo and overall song structure has all the hallmarks of those 70's GDAZE heroes Aviary. Surely not?

In Summary
The album was released in Europe, and has drawn a few admirers. Unfortunately the band have gone through more changes and the future now appears uncertain, what with the resurgence of Metal Church during 2004. However, as it turns out, this band have morphed into Presto Ballet, but the musical style has taken a fantastic retro step forward (a contradiction I know). The Ballet boys released a fine album in 2005, and are set for a new CD in mid 2008.

Track Listing:
01 30 Thousand Ft
02 Electric Love Song
03 High St
04 Nowhere Train
05 3 AM
06 Unchanged
07 If There's A Song
08 Brand New Light
09 Surface Of Another Planet
10 Sleeping Giant
11 Sonic Blur

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#1 | trillion1999 on October 29 2011 14:42:58
I had the first Vanderhoof-CD long ago.I bought it at a sale in a now gone record-store that another time had a Cityboy and Styx-CD for only 4 dollars.I can not remember a single note from it.I suspect most would get a lot of mileage out of that one.Though I was dissapointed my curiosity is piqued for this and Presto Ballet.
#2 | rkbluez on June 09 2012 23:27:40
Love this album...very retro sounding melodic pomp hard rock...and well produced also...I'm sure most of the people here will love this CD...the first Vanderhoof CD isn't that bad either but it's a lot more modern...I have to admit...Mr. Vanderhoof's stuff is always of high quality.
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