CORNERSTONE – ARRIVAL (MASSACRE 2000)

REVIEW BY VILLE KRANNILA / 2004

Another new ”supergroup” formed by great vocalist Doogie White (Rainbow, Yngwie Malmsteen etc.) and bassist/keyboardist Steen Mogensen from Royal Hunt who also handles the songwriting. RH leader Andre Andersen guests on the album and does all the keyboard solos.

After being introduced to this band by fellow Steel Millworker Kassu, I bought their second album ”Human Stain” – a brilliant record with no bad songs in sight. The next obvious move was to get their first effort as well, called ”Arrival.” Here’s some thoughts after giving it a few spins:

Well, this album is quite different from ”Human Stain” in many ways. While ”Human Stain” had a more traditional, heavy guitar sound, this one is very keyboard-dominated and progressive. But this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Mogensen and Andersen are both very skillful players and their playing is all over on tracks like ”Straight To The Bone,” which also has a superb White performance on vocals. While most of the songs are mid-tempo and ballad-like, there are few heavier moments as well with ”Top Of The World” and ”Fooled.” The former especially stands out.

All players do nice work, nothing too flashy or pretentious. Doogie sings with power and soul, lyrics are thoughtful and quite interesting without giving too much away.

Occasionally there’s a reminder of 1980’s commercial rock with nods to Doogie’s old band Rainbow, in fact their ”Street Of Dreams” could be used as a reference point how many of the songs on this album sound. Thus the album takes some time to get used to. After first listen i didn’t think much about it, but now i ‘ve definetely grown to like it. The same melodies which made ”Human Stain” such a great record are also present at ”Arrival” – they are just more subdued.

Not to be completely satisfied, some songs i feel could have benefit greatly from a heavier arrangement. ”Jungle” being a good example of this and the latter half of the album does have one or two weaker tracks.

”Arrival” definetely requires extensive listening, but this is perfect music for concentration and quiet listening with headphones on and lights turned low .

And i must say ”Arrival” is one of those records where the dreamlike cover matches the nature of the music perfectly! Overall i think Cornerstone would achieve greater things with their next record but ”Arrival” is not a bad place to start either.

3k

arrival

01.Arrival
02.Walked On The Water
03.Jungle
04.Straight To The Bone
05.Top Of The World
06.Reload
07.Gift Of Flesh
08.Grain Of Sand
09.Fooled
10.I’m Alive

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About Ville Krannila