• 8.5/10
    VARIOUS ARTISTS - Voices Of Rock - 8.5/10


AOR Heaven
Release date: July 20, 2007

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

In theory it sounds like a simple concept … take two producers who are also accomplished musicians, let them write some songs for an album, and then record those tracks with ten different vocalists to convey each song’s message. In actuality, the concept can be difficult to implement when trying to ensure that the end product doesn’t sound like ten different songs, but as a whole sounds like a “release.” As daunting of a task as that might sound, that is exactly what Chris Lausmann (Bonfire, Jaded Heart) and Michael Voss (Mad Max, Casanova) have done with Voices Of Rock, and they’ve done it incredibly well!

Lausmann and Voss not only handled writing the songs and production, they also managed to cover most of the guitar work. The end result is a nice slab of AOR that often crosses into the Melodic Hard Rock arena. One of this album’s most endearing qualities is how large of a part guitars play in the mix; they’re always present and quite often set the tempo. Of course, enlisting one of the premier Melodic Hard Rock guitarists in Tommy Denander doesn’t hurt this endeavor at all.

The other strong quality behind this release is the breadth of vocal talent the two have managed to enlist. Each and every vocalist and their associated track are quite listenable and should be enjoyable for any Hard Rock fan. As with any release, there are some tracks that standout more than others, and that’s no exception here. One of the easy favorites will be James Christian’s (House Of Lords) performance and track; it’s quite heavy in it’s own right and perhaps one of the “rockiest” tracks James has been involved with for awhile.

Dan Reed and Harry Hess both contribute on slightly mellower tracks than Christian, but the songwriting avails here as the two tracks are both quite catchy with strong choruses. Jean Beauvoir of Plasmatics fame puts in a Rockin’ kickass performance as well. The Johnny Gioeli (Hardline, Axel Rudi Pell) track is another hard-hitting performance that breaks the AOR barrier. And lastly, another performance garnering an honorable mention is the Gary Barden track that almost completely revitalizes that MSG “feeling” thanks in part to its ever-present guitars. This isn’t to say that the other vocalists did poorly, quite the opposite, it’s just some tracks stand out as less AOR-ish than others.

Bottom line, this is probably a release that was unexpected for AOR/Hard Rock fans and perhaps might have slipped under their “radar.” The material, production, and performances here make for a strong contender on anyone’s Top Ten AOR/Hard Rock album list for 2007. This seems like a strange statement for a release that features ten different lead vocalists, but sometimes musical marvels and genius happen and this one certainly qualifies! If you’re remotely a fan of any of these vocalists (most music fans should have two or more of them on their favorites list anyway) then by all means pick up a copy of this one!


Featured Vocalists – One Song Each:

James Christian (House Of Lords)
Jean Beauvoir (Plasmatics/Crown Of Thorns)
Terry Brock (Strangeways/Slamer)
Dan Reed (Dan Reed Network)
Johnny Gioeli (Hardline, Axel Rudi Pell)
Harry Hess (Harem Scarem)
Göran Edman (Yngwie Malmsteen/Street Talk)
Robin Beck
Steve Overland (FM/Shadowman)
Gary Barden (MSG)
Michael Voss – Lead Guitars, Acoustic Guitars, Production
Chris Lausmann – Guitars, Bass, Guitars, Production
Bertram Engel – Drums
Angel G. Schleifer – Lead Guitars
Tommy Denander – Lead Guitars


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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