Place Vendome: Place Vendome-2005.

Place Vendome is a German melodic hard rock / AOR project, founded in 2004 at the direction of Frontiers Records president Serafino Perugino.

Place Vendome was formed by Helloween and Unisonic vocalist Michael KiskeDennis Ward (bass and production), Kosta Zafiriou (drums) and Uwe Reitenauer (guitars) from the band Pink Cream 69 and Gunther Werno (keyboards) from the band Vanden Plas.

The project has released four full-length albums; Place Vendome in 2005, Streets of Fire in 2009, Thunder in the Distance in 2013 and Close to the Sun in 2017.

Debut album (2004–2005)

Serafino Perugino devised the idea for the Place Vendome project during the winter of 2004. He approached both Michael Kiske and Dennis Ward with the proposition of recording a melodic rock/AOR album. According to Kiske “The whole band was an idea of Serafino Perugino from Frontiers Records…He first got into contact with Dennis Ward of Pink Cream 69 and hired him to oversee the project…He proposed the idea to me and after hearing the songs, I agreed to do the record. I was impressed by the strength of the material.”[1] The songwriting for the debut album, Place Vendome, was provided by Dennis Ward, with further contributions from David Readman and Alfred Koffler.[2]

Streets of Fire (2008–2009)

Place Vendome’s second album was released on February 20, 2009 and featured the same line-up. The songwriting for the Streets of Fire album was provided by Torsti Spoof (Leverage), Ronny Milianowicz (Saint Deamon), Robert Sall (Work of Art) and Magnus Karlsson (Primal Fear). A video was filmed for the song “My Guardian Angel”, marking Kiske’s visual return since 1996.[3]

Formation of Unisonic (2009–2012)

On November 10, 2009, Place Vendome members Michael Kiske, Dennis Ward and Kosta Zafiriou, joined forces with guitarist Mandy Meyer, to form the hard rock band Unisonic. In 2010, they began their first tour, playing mostly material from the Place Vendome albums, some Helloween classics and only one new song. In 2011, current Gamma Ray and former Helloween guitarist/vocalist Kai Hansen was added to the line-up. During Unisonic’s following live performance at Loud Park Festival, the band focused on performing their own material and played only the song “Cross The Line” from the first Place Vendome album. Since Unisonic’s self-titled debut album was released in March 2012, the band has not performed any Place Vendome songs during their concerts.

Thunder in the Distance (2012–2013)

In 2012, Frontiers Records announced that Michael Kiske agreed to start working on a third Place Vendome album. A change in the line-up was also announced, with Dirk Bruinenberg (ex-Adagio) replacing Kosta Zafiriou as the drummer.[4] The band’s third album, Thunder in the Distance was released on November 1, 2013. The songwriting for this release was provided by Magnus Karlsson, Timo Tolkki (ex-Stratovarius), Alessandro Del Vecchio (Hardline), Tommy Denander (Radioactive), Roberto Tiranti and Andrea Cantarelli (Labyrinth), Sören Kronqvist (Sunstorm) and Brett Jones.[5][6] A music video was filmed for the song “Talk To Me”.

Close to the Sun (2016–2017)

In 2016, it was confirmed by Dennis Ward that the fourth Place Vendome album would be entitled Close to the Sun and would feature songs written by Magnus Karlsson, Jani Liimatainen (Cain’s Offering, ex-Sonata Arctica), Olaf Thorsen (Vision DivineLabyrinth), Fabio Lione (Angra, ex-Rhapsody of Fire, Vision Divine), Simone Mularoni (DGM), Aldo Lonobile (Secret Sphere), Alessandro Del Vecchio and Mike Palace.[7] The new album was released on February 24, 2017 and was the first Place Vendome release to feature guest guitar solos by Gus G (FirewindOzzy Osbourne), Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray, Unisonic), Mandy Meyer (Krokus, Unisonic), Alfred Koffler (Pink Cream 69), Magnus Karlsson, Simone Mularoni and Michael Klein.[8][9]

Discography:

Place VendomeFull-length2005
Streets of FireFull-length2009
Thunder in the DistanceFull-length2013
Close to the SunFull-length2017
Dennis Ward
Bass (2004-present)
See also: PanoramaGus G. (live), D.C. Cooper, ex-Missa Mercuria, ex-Unisonic, Khymera, Magnum, ex-Bob Catley, ex-Dezperadoz, ex-Pink Cream 69, ex-Sunstorm, ex-Wicked Sensation, ex-First Signal
Uwe Reitenauer
Guitars (2004-present)
See also: ex-Pink Cream 69, ex-Sunstorm
Günter Werno
Keyboards (2004-present)
See also: Vanden PlasD.C. Cooper, ex-Missa Mercuria, ex-Sunstorm, ex-Angra (live), ex-Kamelot (live), ex-Consortium Project (live)
Michael Kiske
Vocals (2004-present)
See also: HelloweenKiske / Somerville, ex-Unisonic, Michael Kiske, ex-Avantasia (live), ex-Ill Prophecy, ex-SupaRed
Dirk Bruinenberg
Drums (2013-present)
See also: Patrick RondatThe 11th Hour (live), ex-Vulture, ex-Bob Catley, ex-Wicked Sensation, ex-Adagio, ex-Elegy, ex-Abyss, ex-Consortium Project (live), ex-Hail of Bullets (live)

Past Members:

Kosta ZafiriouDrums (2004-2009)
See also: ex-Pink Cream 69, ex-Krokus (live), ex-D.C. Cooper, ex-Kymera, ex-Unisonic, ex-Redline
Songs
1.Cross the Line04:56 
2.I Will Be Waiting04:56 
3.Too Late04:17 
4.I Will Be Gone05:12 
5.The Setting Sun04:48 
6.Place Vendome03:58 
7.Heavens Door04:06 
8.Right Here04:13 
9.Magic Carpet Ride04:01 
10.Sign of the Times05:18 
 45:45 

1 Comment

  1. aplws, April 15th, 2020
    Written based on this version: 2005, CD, Frontiers Records
    Place Vendome is definitely one of the biggest surprises of 2005. A project put together by Frontier Records and comprised of members from Pink Cream 69, Vandenplas and vocalist Michael Kiske from Helloween and Unisonic. The result of this collaboration is a fresh sounding and well balanced melodic rock/AOR album.

    Uwe Reitenauer handles the guitars and does a fabulous job proving what a technical proficient guitarist he is. Gunter Werno on keyboards adds his melodic feel in the right places, while Dennis Ward on bass along with Kosta Zafiriou on drums provide a strong rhythm section. Special mention has to go to vocalist Michael Kiske who is surely the highlight of the album. His voice has matured, gotten stronger and more versatile since his days with Helloween and he just sounds perfect singing this type of music.

    The music can best be described as melodic rock with AOR flavors and a heavier edge. The fact that Kiske is not your typical melodic rock singer and the heavier guitar riffs differentiate Place Vendome from your run of the mill AOR band.

    The strongest highlights are the two heavier pieces which open and close the album. “Cross the Line” contains catchy guitar riffs, one of the album’s most addictive choruses and an energetic vocal performance filled with emotion and confidence. “Sign of The Times” is the perfect album closer. It is characterized by an epic atmosphere, offers another strong chorus, while Reitenauer demonstrates his best lead guitar work and Kiske delivers a brilliant vocal performance. Other highlights include the emotional and atmospheric power ballad “The Setting Sun”, the uplifting title track and the perfect example of solid AOR “Magic Carpet Ride”.

    The album’s disadvantages are minor and have mostly to do with personal preferences. The ballad “Heaven’s Door” is the weakest track on the album and the AOR song “Right Here” is rather average. If these two tracks were replaced by a couple of heavier songs the album would have been perfect.

    This project proved to be a very positive surprise in a time when Michael Kiske was still in a self-imposed exile from heavier music and is a fine specimen of refined AOR with a heavier edge. This is an album that will be loved by AOR and melodic rock fans, while it will probably be enjoyed by open minded metal fans as well.

    (originally written for http://www.amazon.co.uk)

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s