Reviews of "Nostradamus"

(Steamhammer/ SPV)

Well, what can I say. A promising nomination for the best album released this year is Nikolo Kotzev´s Nostradamus. With big help from vocalist such as Glenn Hughes, Joe Lynn Turner, Göran Edman, Doogiw White, Jorn Lande, Alannah Myles and Sass Jordan it´s pretty easy to understand that this release is the best in a long time judged out of a vocal perspective.

The rhythm section of this "band" is the old trio from Europe. Ian Haugland (drums), John Leven (bass) and Mic Michaeli (organ). In fact, this is 3/5 of the band but instead of John Norum there´s Kotzev himself and instead of Joey Tempest, there are ..... a lot of others.

The concept of this album is of course about the visioner Michel de Nostradame, and the story about his visions and how the people, and even more important how the french royalities, reacted to what he had to say. In the lead character as Nostradamus we have the brilliant classic rock singer Joe Lynn Turner behind the microphone. To say that Turner does a great job would be to hold back, and with his experience the songs smell sunshine as soon as he appears.

This goes for Glenn Hughes as well, in the character as Henry II, the french king. What Glenn does on this album is really close to what he put in on the Phenomena album back in the 80s. This is Glenn is the perfect rock mood, with music that reminds a lot of Rainbow and Deep Purple. The melodic classic kind of rock, to put it right. And with Glenn Hughes on top of it all, I´m ready to announce the tracks with his inputs to the best of this album.

The brilliant Jorn Lande plays "The Inquisitor", with the main purpose to hunt Nostradamus down and bring him either to justice or death. Jorn´s psychadelic and brutal but still melodic voice is perfect for this character. He really sounds just as if he means what he´s singing. Another great input comes from Göran Edman who is "The Ghost". His voice is almost everywhere as it seems, and even though he´s not in the legendary division of singers (such as Hughes and Turner) he brings in emotion needed for many pieces. Great melodies from this man, I tell you. Doogiw White is the last male vocalist of the singer, and he functions as a storyteller. Hearing him always reminds me of the last (?) Rainbow album, and that he in fact IS one of the best of today. He´s got a steady voice and a great rock attitutde towards his performance.

Alannah Myles is "Anne Gemelle" who later on married Nostradame, and for those who haven´t heard Myles before this is a great opportunity to hear her in a superb performance. This canadian female voice has hundreds of thousands fans all over the world already, and I guess this release will only increase that number. Sass Jordan, the french Queen, does a miraculous input as well in the same rock style as Myles, Turner and the rest. She is the one who protects Nostradamus when the Henry II is dead. She makes him a "Physician" and with that title the Inquisition can´t touch him.

So, this album is a lot about vocals as you may have guessed. But what about Nikolo Kotzev himself then? Well he´s credited as author, producer, guitarist, violinist, keyboards and percussion. The mastermind behind all this piece of sunshine. After all, without this man Nostradamus would never have come alive in this magnificient way. And we can only say thank you to him for having such as great taste when it comes to vocalist. At least five of the singers of this "rock opera" belong to my top 20 list of vocals for sure. As a guitarist I think Kotzev totally rules as well. At first I only concentrated on the vocals, but later on noticed that these solos that are put in everywhere are not to play with. A little bit of Blackmore there for sure, but still with a fresh wind and a total sense for melodies. Enjoyable lead guitars, to put it right.

Don´t get this one, and you have no taste. Get it.... and enjoy!

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