Vanderhoof (SPV/Steamhammer) 1997
1. "Bleed" (5:52)
The first solo album from Metal Church's Kurdt Vanderhoof. Metal Church drummer Kirk Arrington is along for the ride as well. However, the music contained herein is a far cry from the classic power metal and thrash of Metal Church. Rather Kurdt goes for a sound that comes straight out of the 1970's. I can't say that anything on this CD sounds exactly like another band, but there are plenty of noticeable influences. "Take to the Sky", for instance, has a definite Deep Purple-inspired sound. "Out Alive" is one of the heavier tracks on the album, but still has a retro sound from the early 80's, complete with a bit of organ that pulls in the 70's influence again. This track reminds me slightly of Rainbow. Other songs remind me of Uriah Heep. Part of the reason for the comparisons is because the entire album actually relies as much on keyboards as it does on guitars, which is a bit odd considering that Vanderhoof is a guitarist. Vocalist Damon Albright has a clean, smooth style that would have works well with this style. Since I am a child of the 70's and can appreciate hard rock, I can appreciate the music here. Kurdt seems to be paying homage to the bands that inspired him, while at the same time creating something that is new.
Vanderhoof - A Blur in Time (SPV) 2002
1. "30 Thousand Ft."
A Blur in Time is so far away from the Metal Church sound that it would be impossible to connect the two had I not already known that Kirk Vanderhoof was formerly the main main behind the historically important metal band. "A Blur In Time" is not even remotely heavy metal. However, it is a very solid platter. Clean vocals along with sing along choruses and solid production make this an excellent melodic rock platter with just a touch of a progessive rock sound. Even the ballads here are quite good. "If There's A Song...", a song that blends an 80's power ballad feel with violins, keyboards and bit of the Beatles pop influence works quite well. "Brand New Song" in like manner, is also a power ballad. This song reminds me of how some of the 70's hard rock bands like Kansas and Styx mixed their craft with a bit of pop to create something quite dynamic. I was a bit surprised at how non-metallic and how melancholy this disc was, however, for what it is, I quite enjoy it.