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Marios Metal Meeting (NL), January 2010

83/100

Challenges is Chinawhite`s tenth official release. In their early days, Chinawhite released some cassettes which are not available anymore. Some of these old recordings are summarized on the album DEMO’S 1990-2005, which can be downloaded on the site. Challenges is Chinewhite`s third official cd.
Chinawhite was founded in 1987. Some musicians of those early days are still present in the current line-up. In those early days, Chinawhite concentrated on playing “melodic rock with symphonic frill and groovy rythms”. They performed songs of among others Rush, Saga and Marillion. But they wanted to do more live performances so the band members decided to play also more well-known Top 100 covers. During the years, Chinawhite builded up a solid reputation and this leads to a lot of gigs together with bands like Uriah Heep and The Golden Earring. In the meanwhile, some changes in the line-up took place, Don Feltges (Lead Vocals) enters the band in 1993 and Sander Stappers becomes the new Bass player in 2003. The other members are Peter Cox (Guitar and Vocals), Rolf Vossen (keyboards) and Hans in `t Zand (Drums).
The recording of the new album Challenges started in 2007 and it is released in November 2009. The songs on the album are again a step forward if you compare these to the older songs which can be downloaded from the website. Peter Cox (guitar) is responsible for most of the songs. Challenges is an album which needs more time to discover and to unravel all these compositions. One of my favorites is My Venus Rising, with nice keyboard and guitar parts. In my opinion, it is more progressive rock than symphonic rock because of the complexity that some songs show. I think it is an album to check out for fans of music from Saga, Rush etc. Something what I also want to mention is the very nice artwork!
Challenges has become an album that I will listen more to in the future.  (Jordy Brouwers)

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