Da Vinci - 'Ambition Rocks'

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Da Vinci - 'Ambition Rocks'

A stonkingly good comeback album from a band too long away from the scene.

Norway's Da Vinci were one of the first bands I ever had the pleasure of writing about. It was sometime in late 1986/early 1987 when 'Boulevard' fanzine first came into being, and we were all obsessive tape traders looking for the next big thing. Around that time, the original Scandie AOR/Melodic Rock explosion was just getting started; bands like Mogg, Glory, Talk Of The Town and, of course, Da Vinci were all putting out quality demos and getting signed to labels, keen to be the first to release the next big Rock act.

For whatever reason, Da Vinci clicked with the writers of Boulevard and we pestered them for band info, new music (all done by phone and letter, this was before the internet really got going) and their time, and the band to a man couldn't have been more helpful. Fast forward thirty odd years and I'm again reviewing a new Da Vinci album, and I have to say, it's bloody marvellous!

Of course, there have been a couple of changes over the years, but the main song-writing team of keyboard player Dag Selboskar and guitarist Gunnar Westlie are still here, and they have once again written some wonderful Melodic Rock tunes for any fan of the genre to enjoy.



Check out main opener 'Vicious Circle' and feel those thirty years melt away as the band usher in the new Da Vinci era. The first single/video, 'I've Come All This Way', follows and it's a classic sounding track which recalls 'Forever In My Heart' with, shall we say, a more modern feel; the keyboards on this song are pure eighties gold. There's also the Hard Rocking 'Curious Sensation', the power ballad 'See You When I See You', the killer Melodic Rocker 'Rocket Of Fame', with its massive hook, and the in-your-face 'Storm On The Horizon' to contend with. However, the most intriguing track has to be the West Coast/Jazz Fusion cut 'Touch Of Humanity' which closes this album out. It's so out of place, yet so good it doesn't matter.

According to Selboskar (interview elsewhere this issue), we'll be getting new releases every couple of years from now on; based on the evidence presented here, this makes me smile like a loon. This is a stonkingly good comeback album from a band too long away from the scene. Da Vinci are indeed back with a bang!

Ian Johnson

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