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Heavy Hardes (D), January 2010

Heavy Hardes (D), January 2010, Holgi, 5/6

So, this disc actually came to me by a mistake. Or perhaps not. In the early days when we met at evening events we disco enemies went "to the music" – that meant watching more or less competent cover bands which played  a stew of hits and classics. There were the typical Song and Dance representatives of course, but also quite rockier Combos and during the beloved "metal round" the cow always flew.  Long ago, and a name from those days  came back me to me with this combo: Chinawhite; some guys who were known for their very rocking (always under the corresponding conditions) appearance. So just caught the CD and was disappointed at first – these guys come from the Netherlands, so hardly identical to the Band, which played at the Untermain. But their history proved exciting: they have been around since 1987 (fits) and used to perform songs  a la Whitesnake, Toto and Queen, enriched by capable hits of prog giants such as Rush, Saga and Marillion. With this mixture they visited Holland, Belgium and also Germany in the early 1990s – perhaps they were surely. Who knows! However, the band always explored their own songwriting,  already in 1995 a 5 track demo was recorded with originals and after several years the debut A Dragon’s Birth was released  on which no cover versions were found. 2000 saw the release of second album Breathe Fire and after some lineup change and a break they started working on the now present long player in 2007.  Offered is a mixture of all the names in their history: a massive 70s list towards Deep Purple and Rainbow – and song Number 3, "My Venus Rising" one may think for some time  to enjoy a good cover version of the piece with the same title from Black Sabbath. Melodic prog rock is what you get here, addressing names such as Rush and Saga, but  also with Dream Theater, Deep Purple and Uriah Heep as hard references. The Hammond squeaks properly, the guitar harmonizes well – only the singing voice of Don Feltges  is mixed into the background. Maybe because he is not quite of the same level?  This is hard to decide, because he’s often simply too quiet. But that is the only weakness – otherwise a nice sign of life from a time when such Combos were firmly booked for Saturday nights.

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