The amazing reception of the first PLACE VENDOME album released in 2005 planted the seeds for a second recording entitled “Streets of Fire”, which was recorded during 2008 and for a third album, “Thunder in the Distance,” which was released in 2013.
Being a project so close to Kiske’s heart, it was agreed during 2016 that work on a new album would start with his UNISONIC bandmate Dennis Ward at the production helm, as usual. And once again, Magnus Karlsson (PRIMAL FEAR) was one of the first to answer the call to participate and offered the awesome song, “Falling Star” to the project. Jani Liimatainen (CAIN’S OFFERING, ex-Sonata Arctica) was the next contributor with the epic “Welcome to the Edge”, the album’s tour de force. Following LABYRINTH’s reunion, guitarist Olaf Thorsen sat with ETERNAL IDOL, ANGRA, and former RHAPSODY singer Fabio Lione and offered “Helen” and “Riding the Ghost”. Frontiers’ President Serafino Perugino then proposed that his favourite DGM song, “Hereafter” be included. This brought DGM’s main composer, Simone Mularoni into the picture and he wrote the album’s title track and “Across the Times”. Alessandro Del Vecchio also offered two new songs, “Strong” and “Yesterday Is Gone”, while SECRET SPHERE’s guitarist Aldo LoNobile wrote “Distant Skies” and “Breathing”. The full picture was finally completed with a new song written by Swedish melodic rock artist Michael Palace (PALACE, SKYLANDER), “Light Before the Dark”.
Kiske and Ward wanted to make the album a little bit special, so besides the “usual suspects” (including drummer Dirk Bruinenberg, Vanden Plas’ ivory tinkler Gunter Werno and Pink Cream 69’s Uwe Reineauer on guitars), some guitar heavyweights appear on the recordings. The list includes Alfred Koffler and (of course) Uwe Reineauer of Pink Cream 69, Magnus Karlsson, Michael Klein, Gus G (Ozzy, Firewind), Simone Mularoni, and Unisonic guitarists Kai Hansen and Mandy Meyer among the others.
In a year that will see Michael Kiske rejoin with his old HELLOWEEN bandmates for a unique world tour, PLACE VENDOME’s new album is the icing on the cake of a special and very rewarding period for the German singer. All in all, “Close to the Sun” is probably the most hard rocking release ever from Place Vendome and an absolute monster of an album!
Lead Vocals - Michael Kiske
Backing vocals - Dennis Ward, Michael Kiske // Additional Choirs on “Strong” by Alessandro Del Vecchio
Bass - Dennis Ward
Keyboards - Günter Werno
Drums – Dirk Bruinenberg
All Rhythm Guitars by Dennis Ward, except: "Welcome To The Edge", "Across The Times", "Close To The Sun", "Hearafter" – Rhythm Guitars by Uwe Reitenauer
Guitar solo by Michael Klein on "Yesterday Is Gone", "Distant Skies", "Strong", "Breathing".
Guitar solo by Uwe Reitenauer on "Close To the Sun"
Guitar solo by Alfred Koffler on "Welcome To The Edge"
Guitar solo by Magnus Karlsson on "Falling Star"
Guitar solo by Gus G on "Light Beyond The Dark"
Guitar solo by Simone Mularoni on "Hearafter"
Guitar solo by Mandy Meyer on "Helen"
Guitar solo by Kai Hansen on "Riding The Ghost" and "Across The Times"