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Strutter (NL), December 2009

 8/10

The history of the Dutch band CHINAWHITE goes back a long way. The band was formed at the end of the 1980s and released 2 CDs during this period, now following it up with the 3rd CD ‘Challenges’. Musically they have always been mixing Classic Hardrock, Progressive Rock/Metal and Symphonic Melodic Rock. A little FATES WARNING here, some URIAH HEEP there and RUSH influences added to make up the melodic progressive rocksound of CHINAWHITE. Instrumental it sounds very sensational, but vocally it could use a little more punch and strength. Sometimes the band goes for a very melodic path such as during the midtempo melodic rocker “How many miles”, but a song like “Challenges – Dreams of a child” or “Better than you” is definitely pure Progressive Metal. All done very well, the 11 included songs on the band’s new CD and for more info I refer to: www.chinawhite.nl (Gabor Kleinbloesem)

Mindview (B), December 2009

GOLD (6/7) Album of the Week

Challenges? You have to be ready sometimes, because listening to the new CD from Dutch band Chinawhite is a real challenge. The band grew from a symphonic rock formation with a small "s" to a progressive rock band with a capital "P". On "Challenges" the band explore all their possible boundaries, which will take you more than one listening session before reaching the conclusion that this album is their justified masterpiece. A beautiful way to celebrate 20 years of Chinawhite. (Peter Rotthier)

Dangerdog (USA), December 2009

4,5/5

Coming from the Netherlands, Chinawhite has a strong musical history that dates back to the early 1990’s. Over their twenty year journey they have released numerous EPs and compilations garnering some respected reviews and a host of fans. Challenges is their latest work, and only the second full-length CD of original material. If you dig progressive rock with the huge flavor of an old school 70’s style, this collection is an auspicious and entertaining slab of music.

Don’t let the old school appellation throw you off by any means. Chinawhite may refer to the past but they hardly wallow in musical reminiscence or create a sappy homage. All the songs and their arrangements are alive and ambitious displaying Chinawhite’s deft skill and creative composition. Songs like How Many Miles, The Storm Rages On, or Wings on the Wind show some intriguing movements and turns over accessible and melodic complexity. You will not be bored. Musicianship is at a premium as Challenges is distinguished by a precision many younger bands only grasp at. The only difficulty here is the vocal performance from Don Feltges Ordinarily I would guess his style is strong with good projection. But on this recording his vocals are often so severely blunted to be enjoyable. Otherwise, Challenges is a brilliant and constantly surprising work of progressive rock (Craig Hartraft,)

Early Demos

wducover.jpg  1992 When Dreams Unite

Aardschok, December 1992
Chinawhite walks the path between melodic and symphonic rock. Their demo was recorded in Germany for Inline Music. The production lacks power however. The fourth song, recorded last year sounds a lot better. Here the female singer is still present, alas she left the band in the meantime. Song wise Chinawhite have a lot to offer. Their level is very acceptable. That is why every fan of the genre can buy this blind.

Fanfare, January 1993
This is the second demo tape for Chinawhite and it shows very promising melodic rock with symphonic influences. Personally I find a touch of Spandau Ballet reminiscent in the music. As a whole this package is very professional: fine artwork, very mature compositions and excellent singing by Arno Linssen. There is room for progression of course; pop rocker On Arrival would have benefited from more guitars. But nevertheless this band may be satisfied with the results. Conclusion; everybody kicking on quality melodic rock can buy this blind.

Underground Scene Report, 1993
Prior to a planned album release, this Dutch quintet recorded a successor to the ’90 released A Thousand Thoughts demo. New tape includes 4 cuts in the melodic/ sympho-rock vein with a significant use of typics such as (pianistic) synths backup/ accompaniment, slick guitar tunes and melodic vocals with a suitable range. Good diversity within, and in between songs individually, though certain passages sound a bit too familiar to the band’s main influences. So, it might do with a bit more identity, but nevertheless a good tape in its genre. (Paul van der Burght)

SI, January 1993
Second demo from Chinawhite is a worthy successor to A Thousand Thoughts. Opener Foolin’ is a heavy song in best AOR tradition with slick harmony vocals and swift guitar work. Follow up On Arrival contains some beautiful bluesy piano pieces and reminds of the Kow Tow period from Pendragon. Singing on the peaceful Room With a View is well done, though the prominent guitars draw the attention away a little. The best is saved for last: a magnificent synthesiser intro, followed by a musical cross between Elton John and Marillion. That Rock and Water in short, which concludes When Dreams Unite in a fitting manner. Chinawhite is obviously influenced by bands like Toto, Foreigner and Van Halen, with pieces of Rush, Saga and Marillion for the symphonic accents. This means future perspectives. (Michel Naumovski)

Heavy Metal Explosion, 1993
This is the second demo from Chinawhite, back after a pause following A Thousand Thoughts to come back strong with When Dreams Unite. Some may know the band from the Southern Comfort CD, on which Chinawhite has a few songs. Music wise Chinawhite play a mix of AOR and symphonic rock, a style suited perfectly to guitar player Peter Cox. Using keyboards create a sound that is close to forefathers as Kayak or Marillion. Keyboarder Rolf Vossen is some kind of Mark Kelly, but shows an own identity in his soloing. The demo opens strong with Foolin’. On Arrival is a compository highlight, with Rolf as the star. A lot of time changes, a good built and beautiful guitar solos make this a jewel. The same can be said about next song Room with a View, though vocally it is not as strong. Maybe a more varied chorus will help lead singer Arno Linssen. Rhythmics are expertly delivered by Paul Roefs on bass and Hans in ‘t Zandt on drums. Miss Cox ads backing vocals in closer Rock and Water. This is a good tape from a promising band. Sound quality is good and the tape was produced by Frank Hilpert together with Chinawhite. It was recorded in the Delta studio in Wilster, Germany.

Power Militia, 1993
The first thing that comes in my mind before I listen to any band from Holland, is that they perform death metal crap. When this demo came into my hands, my thoughts were the same. Restraining factor was their name, which is not so deathy. But surely, Chinawhite surprised me. I didn’t ever expect an AOR band from the Netherlands. These guys created a very good one. I think that a song like Foolin’ can climb the charts equally with all songs that already did. Speaking generally about this demo, I’ll state that the musicians are very well trained, and the vocals are, of course, the most melodic and harmonised as I’ve ever heard from a Benelux band. Also the production is good enough. I’m sure that the Netherlands found at last a representative band. If you like AOR, or melodic heavy metal, than When Dreams Unite is for you. (Stelios Basbayiannis)

attcover.jpg 1990 A Thousand Thoughts:

Aardschok, January 1991
Chinawhite is a band from the south of the Netherlands who mixes rock with symphonic elements. 5 gentlemen and a lady who adds extra vocals to the tracks when they need it, form the band. Production is good, although the bass is somewhat to dominant over the guitars. The singing is very acceptable, though to “Fish” like in When All Goes Wrong. All in all the sound of Chinawhite is a relief and to take a step aside: they are one of the few bands that got it together on all fronts. My compliments! (Ferry Bovet)

SI, January 1991
Rock with symphonic frill is the slogan with which Chinawhite enriches their music. And it is true; A Thousand Thoughts holds catchy, hard rocking melodic rock. The 5 men and the lady know what they are doing, because the music is strong as a rock. There can be hardly any criticism on the tracks. The band would benefit from a more original sound, but that will come over the years. For now this tape is an excellent buy. (Willibrord Elsing)

Heavy Metal Explosion, 1991
Chinawhite exist since 1987 and they work hard to make it. Because of their hard labour, writing their own songs and the many gigs they have succeeded so far. And they are worth it too! Listening to their demo I have reached the conclusion that they are a breed apart with their warm and very melodic rock with symphonic frill. Lead singers Arno and Anneke are accompanied by keyboarder Rolf, phenomenal guitar riffs and breaks of Peter, fine bass playing by Paul and held together by drummer Hans. Great to hear this swinging and catchy music. Everything is played with fire, feels alive, melodic and spirited. The singers are not afraid to show their emotion and every word, also in the harmonies, is convincing. Their motto is to bring amusement; I agree, there is only one way to rock!

RR, 1991
Chinawhite play a combination of covers and original material. Their songs are melodic and somehow remind me of Marillion. Arno Linssen and Anneke Cox are two talented singers who perform well as a duo. This demo is surely worth the listen.

Background Magazine, February 1992
These musicians started to play occasionally with different members in 1987. Two years later the band started to become a real band with concerts and everything. They play covers and some self-made compositions, which are on their first demo tape. I would like to describe their music as melodic rock with symphonic influences. Never too complex and easy to listen to. They are still a starting band and that can be heard. But every now and then you just forget about that because there are some rather good parts in their music. I believe Chinawhite needs some more experience and development. However, this tape is a good start. (Michiel van de Ven)

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