CHINAWHITE – CHALLENGES – Rock Company – 7,0
This Dutch band already has been around for a long time being established in 1987 and at the start, played covers of bands who influenced them. The origin of Chinawhite is with drummer Hans in ´t Zandt and guitarist Peter Cox, both also do support vocals, and keyboard player Rolf Vossen (also known as Fuchs), and they all continue in the group until today. In the beginning bass player was Henk Eickes and the vocalist Arno Linssen.
At the beginning of 1989 Chinawhite already was a sextet that combined a well received combination of melodic rock with some full symphonic accents and groovy rhythms. At this time already they had changed of bass player entering Paul Roefs and vocalist entering the youngest sister of Peter, Anneke Willemsen-Cox and the band, already with a considerable repertoire, entered in the studio in 1990 for the recording of a demo (this cassette included a rerecording of a classic of the Van Halen, “Jump”, beyond more original compositions). Soon this demo gained some notoriety and sold three hundred copies and obtaining some summaries in important publications.
In 1991 Chinawhite participated in a local sampler CD with five other groups where each one would contribute with two songs. The band worked with a German production company but the group did not believe the contract promises. Later they recorded another demo that also obtained to invoice good summaries and much water rolled in the nineties as the opening of shows of the Uriah Heep, Golden Earring and others besides several other good reviews in Holland, Canada, Belgium, Germany, Greece and U.S.A. In 1997, the band launched a mini-COMPACT DISC entitled A Dragon´s Birth.
During the years of 1998 and 1999 China White starts to work in what, effectively, full would be the first album length of the group, Breathe Fire, launched in August of 2000. But it was to from there that some problems had appeared a little so the group started working in 2007 on a third release, Challenges, that in fact only came to be launched in 2009. But this, artistic, represents a step the front in the career of the group.
Currently the line up, besides Peter, Rolf and Hans, still counts on the vocalist Don Feltges and the bass player Sander Stappers.
The Challenges album holds eleven compositions that unite the sound of heavy metal and more traditional rock hard in the line of the groups of the NWOBHM as Iron Maiden and Saxon of the beginning with keyboards like Europe. The sound (with variations in time, rhythms, etc) presents interesting arrangements (especially keyboards) and accents that give a dramatically air in some of its compositions as for example “In The Beginning ” and the heavy “The Storm Rages On”. On some songs the keyboards, give a breath of fresh air like in “Better Than You ” (where the keyboards make a perfect counterpoint to fierce guitar riffs) to the band but in general the style, varies little. With this mixture the sound of is not falling into clichés, but despite that I am not sure that the listeners will be able to say: this goes to make history. In any way, it must please the fans of Uriah Heep and the people that have a knack for the melodic side of NWOBHM due the presence of the keyboards.