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Articles Home » 2003 Articles » Riesenbeck, Michael - 2003 Shouting Silence
Riesenbeck, Michael - 2003 Shouting Silence

ARTIST: Riesenbeck, Michael
ALBUM: Shouting Silence
LABEL: Self Releasd
YEAR: 2003


LINEUP: Michael Riesenbeck - guitar, drums, keyboards * Phil Vincent, Tony O' Hora, Ed James, Kimmo Blom, Bryan Woolley, Lars Safsund, Guilherme Indianwest Oliviera - vocals * Sietze Postma, Jeff Pilson, Andre Nelissen, Japp Velema, Tuomo Kovalainen - bass * Michael Rigter, Franky v/d Burgt, Eric Ragno, Timo Pudas - keyboards * Steve McAtee - organ

TRACK LISTING: 01 Hold On Me * 02 Dreams For Tomorrow * 03 Better Days * 04 Casulaties Of War * 05 Call To Glory * 06 Mean't To Be * 07 Toto's Giant Journey * 08 Heart Of Stone * 09 Two Hearts * 10 Telling Lies * 11 Shouting Silence

It took Dutchman Micheal Riesenbeck more than fifteen years of hard work on the melodic rock scene, but finally his solo debut has been released to much acclaim, especially on the European front, where he is based. Locking onto AOR legends like Toto and Journey, Riesenbeck has assembled an impressive cast to assist him on 'Shouting Silence', including Dokken bassist Jeff Pilson, Urban Tale members Blom, Kovalainen and Pudas, and ex Praying Mantis vocalist Tony O' Hora among numerous others. Many of the songs were written during Michael's time in bands like Alibi, with whom he recorded several demos back in the nineties. Riesenbeck made a name for himself by producing a Toto tribute album in 2001 called 'Fanfields', a love for a band which rears itself on this album during the subtly titled 'Toto's Giant Journey'. According to Riesenbeck 'Shouting Silence' is the culmination of hundreds of hours, writing, recording and mixing'. This effort has paid off, an album of considerable AOR merit, which is no doubt what he was looking for.

The Songs
'Hold On Me' is an encouraging opener with Phil Vincent on vocals. The sound is very European naturally, not unlike Alien all those years back. The keyboard sound is luscious, and Riesenbeck adds brazen drama with his guitar work. 'Dreams For Tomorrow' opens with a riff that's dead ringer for AC/DC's 'Highway To Hell', a thought which fades when O' Hora's vocals kick in, adding a very late 80's hard rock stance. Pilson is featured on this track, adding to the US rock comparison. Ed James is on hand to provide vocals for 'Better Days', which at over six minutes is heavy going, an epic tribute to 9-11 with compulsory massive harmonies adding to the tribute atmosphere pervading it. 'Casualties Of War' is a storming instrumental laden with 80's flavoured synth interludes, always an attractive proposition. It progresses quite heavily, the riffs inspired and I could be fooled into thinking this is a Vince DeCola instrumental from Rocky IV! 'Call To Glory' sounds like a power metal epic, but is basic AOR, while 'Meant To Be' is a mid tempo ballad, with the emphasis based on moodiness. Much was expected of 'Toto's Giant Journey', with such a blatant title how could you not? While it never reaches the heights of those (one time) maestro's, it's an often engaging instrumental, that runs eight minutes, the highlight being parping synths, interspersed with excellent guitar interplay that creates a blend of AOR and prog rock. 'Heart Of Stone' ups the hard rock aspect, recalling vintage Europe in the process. The classic AOR title of 'Two Hearts' doesn't disappoint, O Hora back for this one, the whole affair soaring melody, it could be Treat almost. Phil Vincent comes across very Don Dokken like on 'Telling Lies', not something to my taste, as it dominates the whole direction of the song. A third instrumental, the title track, is a fine closer, Riesenbeck clearly having a defined talent for such matters, as he easily creates various tangents that keep you listening, not least in the guitar/Keyboard trade offs. Riesenbeck really cuts loose, his harder direction more satisfying.

In Summary
There's more good than bad presented by Riesenbeck here, which suggests a bright future. Surely a label will pick this up, Riesenbeck having released it independently himself - as it's far more accomplished than many supposed great AOR albums heard recently. With an unwaving desire to keep the classic sound of AOR intact, Riesenbeck deserves much praise. Whats more, he's made it sound convincing rather than it being a token attempt.. 'Casualties Of War' the standout. One to watch? You bet!

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#1 | reyno-roxx on July 02 2008 09:19:59
So THAT'S what happened to 'The Scream' when it was nicked from a Norwegian museum!
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