Sunstorm Sunstorm Frontiers Records
Produced By: Dennis Ward

Running Time: 52.59

Release Date: September 22


Musical Style: Melodic Rock / AOR

Links: Frontiers Joe Lynn Turner
Songs: 95%
Sound: 95%
Joe Lynn Turner has forged a long and successful career playing classy blues driven hard rock. He has fronted Rainbow and Deep Purple and won worldwide acclaim.
But the one album that kick started it all remains a fan favourite to this day. And that album wasn't a hard rock or a blues rock album. Joe's solo debut Rescue You was a glorious slice of pure melodic rock that showcased a side of JLT's voice we haven't heard a lot of over the years.
Beneath that gravelly authentic rock voice there is a smooth, soulful and totally commercial side to Joe that finally gets to shine again on Sunstorm.
Sunstorm is a project built around Joe and the decision to showcase his AOR voice in its best possible light a return to the Rescue You album stylistically, yet with production values matching today's sonic demands.
Instead of putting pressure on Joe to write an album of new songs capturing an old vibe, the label worked through a song list of classic and unreleased AOR songs with Joe which both parties thought would best capture his melodic side and deliver fans a quality AOR release. Boy, did they get that right.
The songs chosen range from a few AOR classics, a few more obscure tracks and some unreleased songs from the desk of Jim Peterik (Survivor, Pride Of Lions, Kelly Keagy).
The songs selected are a very special set of songs.
But none of this would matter if those involved couldn't get the sound right. In steps Mr. Perfect - Dennis Ward. Dennis produces, adds backing vocals, bass plus additional guitars and keyboards. The man is a machine. Also featured are Uwe Reitenauer on lead guitars, Chris Schmidt on drums and Jochen Weyer on keyboards.
The powerhouse band adapt perfectly to the AOR material and add an extra dimension of power to Joe' delivery. The band also gives this release a slightly European feel, which is no problem at all for me, as frankly - the Europeans have kicked the USA's butt this year.
The album is utterly and totally melodic in that pure AOR sense and it retains an 80s soul, but the kick-ass band and tight production give it a quality that makes it contemporary enough to compete with the best releases of 2006.
And Joe Lynn Turner? Where does one start with the compliments? Basically he just sings his absolute bollocks off here and sounds like an angel driving a Leopard tank demolishing these songs with the gusto of a 20 year old.
Track By Track:
Keep Tonight is a perfect opening track, an AOR guitar riff kicking off a track that is bathed in keyboards. True to the edict of the album, this is pure AOR with a 80s feel, but not an outdated 80s production. A catchy chorus and some ultra smooth vocals set the album up beautifully.
Fame And Fortune picks up the tempo a little more and continues the guitar/keyboard dual going. This is straight ahead melodic rock, performed perfectly.
Heart Over Mind is one of two classic tracks lifted from Van Stephenson's breakthrough AOR masterpiece Righteous Anger. This emotional and powerful ballad suits Joe to a tee and I have seldom heard him produce such a smooth, soulful and emotional lead vocal.
This Is My Heart picks up from the ballad brilliantly. This begins a powerful one-two punch of AOR gloriousness. This song remains subtle and mid-tempo through the pure AOR brilliance of the verse and bridge, until a more powerful rock chorus takes over.
Then there is the amazing Strength Over Time a song full of heart and soul and most importantly glorious AOR hooks! It just keeps building and building and Joe's vocals are so good that this song will be up there with the very best come the 2006 Awards.
The album needed a slight reprieve about now; otherwise emotional exhaustion might set in! Another You is the perfect foil. I don't even have to see the song credits to know this is a Jim Peterik tune. This is one of Jim's adult contemporary style numbers that doesn't have a feature chorus, but rather runs along a set melodic story path.
The best thing about this album is the song sequencing. When working with a selection of songs written by various outsiders, the biggest challenge is to place them into a sequence that sounds as if they were written for the one album. Dennis Ward does that perfectly here, so just when needed, a big rocker is delivered to get the album's momentum rolling again. That rocker is of course Van Stephenson's in your face anthem Fistful Of Heat.
Love's Gone Wrong pulls thing back one notch but keeps the album rocking. This is another perfect fit for the album and for Joe. A snappy guitar riff, melodic verse and bridge, then a punchy keyboard filled chorus. Quit simply more glorious old school AOR!
Night Moves is a more straight forward melodic rocker with a heavier delivery and a tough rocking chorus.
Time to head back to some more glorious and classic AOR in the guise of Danger of Love. A mellow but very melodic verse kicks into a great AOR chorus with yet more astounding vocals from Joe.
Making Up For the Last Time is a mellower more sentimental mid-tempo ballad that fans of old school 80s AOR will love. The prefect love song for a summer movie soundtrack.
To close the album we get a song many will be familiar with. The Jim Peterik/David Carl ballad Arms Of Love. This is a nice sentimental way to close the album and again showcases a very fine and smooth vocal from Joe.
The Bottom Line
Simply put utterly essential for all Joe Lynn Turner fans and beyond that, essential for fans of old school AOR and melodic rock.
This album features a killer set of songs and some amazing performances. It is a real crowd pleaser for those that partake in this melodic music scene and even if you don't own a single JLT album this might just make you aware of what a special vocalist he is. Sunstorm is my brand new favourite ever JLT release.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
Rescue You
Nothing's Changed
Under Cover
Hurry Up And Wait
Undercover 2
Holy Man
The Usual Suspects

Line Up:
Joe Lynn Turner: Vocals
Uwe Reitenauer: Guitars
Chris Schmidt: Drums
Dennis Ward: Bass, Backing Vocals, Additional Guitars & Keyboards
Jochen Weyer: Keyboards

Essential For Fans Of:
Joe Lynn Turner
Jim Peterik
Dennis Ward
Classic style commercial AOR
Track Listing
Keep Tonight *
Fame And Fortune
Heart Over Mind *
This Is My Heart *
Strength Over Time *
Another You
Fistful of Heat
Love's Gone Wrong *
Night Moves
Danger of Love *
Making Up For the Last Time *
Arms of Love

--*Best Tracks

09/08/07: fernando -
Rating: 90
the best hardrock album of the year.

26/04/07: Ray Gayo -
Rating: 100

Simply Brilliant and Miraculous..Looking forward for the follow up cd!!

19/04/07: Mike -
Rating: 97
I fit in with most of the reviews that say it's a good CD. My personal favorite is Strength Over Time. For some reason it just works for me, great harmonies and everything just fits. I DETEST Fist Full Of Heat could there be anymore boring and predictable lyrics if you tried? As much as SOT works this song goes the other direction. Other than that it is a great CD well worth spending your hard earned dollars on.

21/03/07: Chewsmoka -
Rating: 90
Nothing better than hearing JLT and a throwback to the late 80's sound, just wish ther were more catchy tracks

09/12/06: FooD -
Rating: 85
this is a good album to listen to, nothing more or less and not a classic but very good, Mr.Turner though isn't my fave though, i prefer HESS / NEWMAN / EMERALD RAIN kind of voice.

said so, i recommend you to buy this. :)

06/12/06: rocky -
Rating: 95
this is by far one of the better things Mr Turner has ever done, the only album he cannot beat is "rescue" is an absolute AOR classic......

24/11/06: Mari -
Rating: 100
Excellent CD! Joe Lynn Turner and Jim Peterik deliver the best album of the year! I gave it a rating of 100 because every song is great!

19/11/06: Park Hanuk -
Rating: 95
This is one heck of an album. I thought this album had some potential when I heard that Joe Lynn Turner was considering to release some of his older materials that had never been released... But I never expected this to turn out this great. Very good songs which extremely catchy hooks and huge choruses, flawless production from Dennis Ward whom I view as the best producer in the business, and the voice of Joe Lynn Turner, this is an album of the year material. I feel like giving this cd another spin right now.

18/11/06: Dimitri -
Rating: 80
Slightly dissapointing especially after seeing the 'too high' reviews. Average at best, with few highlights!

16/11/06: Peter Kiss -
Rating: 75
I think Sunstorm is overrated. There are some good songs on this one (namely Keep Tonight, Fame and Fortune, Fist Full of Heat and Making Up For Lost Time), but I don't consider any of them among JLT's best. I don't agree that this is a great album from start to finish, and JLT surely has done much better than this.

15/11/06: chriscr -
Rating: 100
Hands down best aor/melodic rock cd of the year! From beginning to end, song for song, this is the best of the year! A Masterpiece!! Turner/Peterik a match made in heaven!

14/11/06: Axe-Machine -
Rating: 93
This is among my albums of the year. I am an unabashed fan of AOR, and it doesn't come too much finer than this! 'Keep Tonight', 'This Is My Heart', 'Night Moves' and obviously the Van Stephenson covers are among the many highlights, with 'This Is My Heart' probably ranking as numero uno. Joe Lynn Turner is in fine voice, and I just hope that this isn't the only album we see under the Sunstorm moniker. This will certainly be among my albums of the year for 2006. Essential.

12/11/06: chris nelson -
Rating: 95
Absolutly one of the top cd's of the year.Great to see joe back doing what he does best.I Thought the cd he did with Akira Kajiyama was good until i heard this one.Also i bought this cd the same week as i purchased the new winger cd and the difference in the two is light years.If you've not got this album yet whats keeping you,rush out now and get one of the best MELODIC ROCK cd's of the year.

12/11/06: Mike Singe -
Rating: 78
When I heard the first 3 songs I thought, WOW this is a KILLER album that is a perfect buy for an 80s AOR-lover like me. Unfortunately the rest of the songs are still above average with the world class vocals of Mr. JL Turner, but still a little bit disappointing. Hopefully there are more songs like the first 3 on the next album!

Rating: 97

12/11/06: Terry -
Rating: 98
Awesome album. JLT at his best. One of the greatest rock voices ever in an AOR setting. I really enjoyed the JLT penned songs. Dennis Ward did a great job (again). I can't wait for the next one to come out.

10/11/06: Paul -
Rating: 92
One helluva great cd. Not a bad track on the cd, and several truly great ones. This is definitely one of the top 10 cds of the year. Definitely a must buy!

10/11/06: Dan -
Rating: 100
I second that, M A S T E R P I E C E

10/11/06: Andrew Fortunski -
Rating: 98
CD. Everything else is brilliant. Jim Peterik is just a great songwriter and it seems no mater what he does lately, it smokes. Put Dennis Ward behind the production and mixing duties and it all equals a hit CD. Its that simple. To not get this CD would be a crime !!!!

10/11/06: Chris -
Rating: 95
The most consistent vocal performance from JLT since Rising Force's Odyssey and the best album Survivor never recorded all in one!

09/11/06: Nigel James -
Rating: 80
I actually feel that this album is slight boring! i struggle to last to the end. The beginning is certainly better than the end. Good but yet again totally over hyped.

09/11/06: Zok -
Rating: 99
Oh yes, this is a amazing album. This is the classic sound of aor/melodicrock. This album could have been realeased in the 80s. But many of the records that came out now in this style of music could come out in that classic years. But here we have a masterpiece now and even if you look back to the 80s.
One of the best melodicrock records since the big time for this kind o music. Peterik have not written this good songs since hes glory dayes with Survivor (sure some of this songs is written on his glory days i thinkt)
This is just a masterpiece in this genre.

09/11/06: Sava -
Rating: 100

ADD YOUR OWN REVIEW! (Ratings out of 100)