SUNSTORM – Afterlife

SUNSTORM - Afterlife
  • 7.8/10
    SUNSTORM - Afterlife - 7.8/10


Frontiers Music
Release date: March 12, 2021

[spoiler title=’Metal Express Radio – Ratings Scale’ style=’default’ collapse_link=’true’]

10.0:         Cannot be improved! Perfect, instant classic! Essential in any record collection.
9.5 – 9.9:  Fantastic, spectacular and outstanding!
9.0 – 9.4:  Amazing release! It just lacks that little extra spice to make it perfect.
8.5 – 8.9:  Exceptional release! Will likely rank among top ten albums of the year.
8.0 – 8.4:  Great release! It has many different qualities.
7.5 – 7.9:  Above average! It is an enjoyable release.
7.0 – 7.4:  It is not brilliant, but has many strong points.
6.0 – 6.9:  It has its moments, but is not that strong.
5.0 – 5.9:  Slightly above average, does not stand out. Good outweighs bad by just a little.
4.0 – 4.9:  Just below average, bad outweighs good by just a little.
3.0 – 3.9:  Mediocre. There might be a song or a performance that is enjoyable, but that is it.
2.0 – 2.9:  Very weak! There might be a light at the end of the tunnel, too many flaws.
1.0 – 1.9:  This release gives the word “terrible” new meaning.
0.1 – 0.9:  Awful! Avoid at all cost. There is nothing good to say about this release.


User Review
9.5/10 (1 vote)

The Backstory

The Sunstorm project was created by Frontiers President Serafino Perugino to showcase ex-Deep Purple & Rainbow front man Joe Lynn Turner’s return to AOR. Any fan of Joe Lynn Turner can attest that the first two Sunstorm releases Sunstorm (2006) and House of Dreams (2009) were two near perfect AOR albums that highlighted JLT at what he does best. What some die-hard fans may not admit to is that the last few Sunstorm albums weren’t as good. Emotional Fire (2012), Edge of Tomorrow (2016), and The Road to Hell (2018) all had their moments, but they paled in comparison to the first two albums.

In early 2021 Frontiers announced that Ronnie Romero (Rainbow, Lords of Black, The Ferrymen, Vandenberg) would be taking over vocal duties on the Sunstorm project. Needless to say, some Joe Lynn Turner fans were not having any of it. On March 12, 2021 Sunstorm released Afterlife, and it begs the question, can Ronnie Romero and producer/songwriter Alessandro Del Vecchio deliver on their promise of a return to the sound of the original Sunstorm record?

[Watch our Ronnie Romero interview HERE]

The Album

The soft accent of a Hammond organ compliments the meaty riffs of “Afterlife.” Vocalist Ronnie Romero shows that he can switch from ‘that metal guy” to ‘who’s that Melodic Rock guy’ with ease. Thumping bass and clean picked strings set the tone of “Swan Song.” It feels like a lost 80s Rainbow track and is sure to take you back to that period of Rock. Sunstorm knocks it out of the park with a 1-2-3- punch of ‘70s Rock meets modern AOR tracks with “Born Again,” “Stronger,” “I Found Away.” All three songs are packed with infectious choruses, strong vocal melodies, and Romero’s emotional delivery.

“Lost Forever” is a piano heavy ballad that builds with passion and distortion as it progresses. The blazing guitar solo will impress the most stubborn aficionados. On “Here for You” guitarist Simone Mularoni knows when to pull back to show off Romero’s powerful vocals, and Ronnie returns the favor when it’s time for Simone’s fretwork. Keyboardist Alessandro Del Vecchio does his best Jon Lord prog-y style interlude halfway through the song. “Darkest Night” walks late ‘80s, early ‘90s Glam Rock territory with its bright power chords and over-the-top chorus.

The Verdict

Afterlife delivers on its promise to bring back the memorable Arena Rock sound of the ‘70s and ‘80s. Ronnie Romero proves he can take any music situation and turn it into vocal gold. With Romero at the helm, Sunstrom rises from the ashes with compelling and impassioned vocals. Ronnie leaves no doubt that he believes in what he is singing. Don’t let lineup changes get in the way of enjoying a great album.



  1. Afterlife
  2. Once Step Closer
  3. Swan Song
  4. Born Again
  5. Stronger
  6. I Found a Way
  7. Lost Forever
  8. Far From Over
  9. Here For You Tonight
  10. Darkest Night
  11. A Story That You Can Tell

Sunstorm is

Ronnie Romero – Vocals
Simone Mularoni – Guitars
Alessandro Del Vecchio – Keyboards
Nik Mazzucconi – Bass
Michele Sanna – Drums


  • George Dionne

    George was a contributor here at Metal Express Radio, reviewing albums and conducting interviews, out of Massachusetts, USA. George has contributed to numerous music related websites and blogs, and even managed his own from 2004-2009. George's first assignment was covering a live show by the mighty GWAR. By contrast his later assignments featured Judas Priest, Van Halen, and Bon Jovi. George was also the front man for the South Eastern Massachusetts cover band Sound Tower from 2009-2015.  Sound Tower played 300+ shows across MA and had two original songs on the Cape Cod radio station PIXY 103. George enjoys a good whiskey, scotch, and/or bourbon and fights crime in his spare time.

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