Genre: Prog Hard Rock
Playing time: 66:06
When I receive a CD over half a year past its original release, then reviewing it is not one of my top priorities. That is why Challenges is passing it’s 2 year date before enlightening these pages. Because of the Dutchmen not jumping on any bandwagon and also not likely getting a short lived promo push by some record company, this waiting probably isn’t much of a problem.
„In the Beginning“ turns out to be an extended intro, lasting 4 minutes. Its sound, spiced with didgeridoo and keyboard violins, reminds me in a remote strange way of Peter Gabriel, and is surely different than the rest of the album.
Heavy guitars are the focal point here, and they give Chinawhite some serious bite, without turning the band into a full metal outfit. A song like „How many Miles“ can be compared to modern day Uriah Heep, also quality wise. The same can be said about the often present vintage Hammond.
All in all Chinawhite prove to be less basic than the famous Brits and, without turning into exaggerated freakiness, have a definite progressive character. The vocals often laying too deep in the mix is a bit of a shame. Especially during the big rocker „Stranger“ and the hook laden „Dive with a Dolphin“ a stronger emphasis on Don Feltges‘ vocals would have generated a higher qualification.
Playing tips are the closest thing to prog metal long track „Challenges – Dreams of a Child“ and the already mentioned „Dive with a Dolphin“, which qualifies as real good guitar dominated Hard Rock.
|1||In the Beginning||4:03|
|2||Challenges – Dreams of a Child||8:01|
|3||My Venus rising||7:28|
|5||How many Miles||3:44|
|6||Better than you||5:13|
|8||The Storm rages on||8:09|
|9||I am I||5:02|
|10||Dive with a Dolphin||5:46|
|11||Wings of the Wind||8:31|
Peter Cox (Git, Production, Mix, Mastering)
Don Feltges (Voc)
Sander Stappers (B)
Rolf Vossen (Keys)
Hans in ’t Zandt (Dr)
Harrie Huveneers (Ocean Drum, Didgeridoo)
How we rate:
|00 to 05||Not recommended|
|06 to 10||Recommended but with flaws|
|11 to 15||(Mainly for Fans) Recommended|
|16 to 18||Very Recommended|
|19 to 20||Classic|