CD Reviews

Palace - 'Master Of The Universe' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 11, 2016    
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A future classic? It damn well should be!

Despite Grunge unceremoniously and inconsiderately usurping our beloved Rock scene in the early nineties, we've still been fortunate, nay, extremely privileged to witness and embrace innumerable Melodic Rock/AOR bands (and their albums) over the past two decades. Admittedly, more than a few have fallen into "average" territory but, conversely, many have attained "notable" status. Regardless of quality, each must be congratulated for their efforts in acting as Melodic Rock defibrillators.

What is extremely rare though, are albums that truly hark back to those glory days of the eighties; albums that immediately impress and smack of longevity before the shrink wrap has even been punctured (Harem Scarem's 'Mood Swings' immediately springs to mind). Could Palace's 'Master Of The Universe' also join the elite?

Hailing from Sweden (surprise!), the band comprises of Michael Palace (vocals, guitar, keys), Rick Digorio (guitar), Soufian Ma'Aoui (bass) and Marcus Johansson (drums). Many may recognise Michael Palace's name as he recently played a significant role with First Signal (Harry Hess). These young protégés have also been affiliated with Adrenaline Rush, Erika, Houston, and Find Me to name but four, so they're definitely no slouches within the genre!

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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'Master Of The Universe' accurately positions itself on the very cusp of Melodic Rock and AOR and, once the opening trio of songs 'Master Of The Universe', 'Cool Running' and 'Man Behind The Gun' have been and gone, you'll be agog with wonderment. They're all archetypal eighties fayre – luxuriously layered keys, melodically measured guitars, a rhythm section that beautifully binds everything together and bewitching backing vocals. Michael Palace's vocals are impressive too and the best I've heard for some time – low and lush one minute, soaring high the next.

'No Exit', 'Path To Light, 'Strangers Eyes' and closer 'Young, Wild, Free' continue to replicate and illustrate every Melodic Rock trait we have grown to know and love. For pure AOR there is 'Part Of Me', 'Matter In Hand' and 'Rules Of The Game', all of which are sublime. My personal favourite, and possibly my song of 2016, 'She Said It's Over' sits way down the track-listing, epitomizing the strength of 'Master Of The Universe'.

I assure you, this review is not hyperbole on my part as you'll very quickly discover for yourselves. Seriously folks, this album is orgasmic opulence of the highest order. Or as the Swedes would say, "lysande"! A future classic? It damn well should be!

Dave Crompton

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