Summer Storm

To release good music, a talented singer is needed. SUMMER STORM was introduced to Renaud […]
October 31, 2018
Summer Storm - First album cover

To release good music, a talented singer is needed. SUMMER STORM was introduced to Renaud Hantson, a man of many talents including: singer, writer, arranger, producer, and showman. Hantson had a successful and popular career as the main singer of the French Rock opera Notre Dame de Paris, La Légende De Jimmy, and Starmania. He was also the lead singer of one of the most respected metal bands, SATAN JOKERS. Michel Berger once referred to Hantson by saying, "He is the best singer of his generation!" Because of his openness and comfortability in different musical worlds, Renaud Hantson was exactly the singer Patrice Vigier was looking for. Hantson had the talent to write melodies while simultaneously inserting the energy and spontaneity of rock.

Renaud Hantson is a busy singer but was excited to join Vigier's project. In Hantson's career he sang with musicians that played Vigier, one of whom was the bass player and co-founder of SATAN JOKERS, Laurent Bernat, who passed away in 2004 from an overdose. The motivation to work with the maker of Laurent Bernat's bass was likely due to a spiritual remembrance of Bernat, and a message to stay away from drugs. SUMMER STORM is held together by strong and renowned musicians including Pascal Mulot (on bass) and Aurelien Ouzoulias (on drums). Both celebrated stars in France, the two musicians are considered the "la crème de la crème" of their respective disciplines. Their debut album "first" contains nine tracks.

"Introduction" is a short instrumental guitar piece, featuring a running lead guitar line and steady rhythms. It leads into the second track, "Summer Storm." It opens a bit tenuous, with a firm and steady guitar riff, with bass and drums thumping away, holding the line. The vocals are done with harmonies right from the start, sounding like a cross between Axl Rose and Bon Scott. The eight minute monster continues to bubble, never quite taking off. "Little by Little" features an easy rocking riff and some emotional vocals. Hantson does indeed have a good voice, but he's not really showing it off here. The guitar solo however was on point...bluesy and well composed. "Whoever you are" is another mid-tempo piece with a straightforward riff and warm vocals. I am not getting much in the way of Progressive elements's more edgy Hard Rock than anything else.

"Free Days" opens with a little bit of bass guitar and some nice ambiance. Soft vocals enter the fray as well, with a warm and tender touch. Hantson stretches out a bit and really puts some emotions into this track. It's the first song that really grabbed me on the album so far. "G.V." has a slow and seductive opening, leading to a fairly somber sound. There are some ethereal moments in the song as well, suggesting a thoughtful composition. "Life is too Short" is rhetoric that we have all heard before. The song does a pretty good job of conveying the message through music, with a somber sound and whirling guitar solo. "Extroduction" opens with clean guitars and a pensive tone. From there, it picks up nicely into a fast-moving instrumental a bit like the opening piece, with moving lead guitars.

The "mid-tempo blues." That is what the album suffers from as a whole. Too many track with a mid-tempo pace can really bog down an album, and that is exactly what we have here. It makes for an uninspiring sound. It's not that the band didn't put their all into the album, but they just didn't do enough for it to make a statement. As I mentioned before, Hantson does have a really strong voice, but the music doesn't allow him to use it. I really hope that the band can make some changes in this regard for a future release, because they have all the elements to make a great project.

5 / 10









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"First" Track-listing:

1. Introduction
2. Summer Storm
3. Little by Little
4. Whoever you are
5. Natural Born Lover
6. Free Days
7. G.V.
8. Life is too Short
9. Extroduction

Summer Storm Lineup:

Aurelien Ouzoulias - Drums
Pascal Mulot - Bass
Patrice Vigier - Guitars
Renaud Hantson - Vocals

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