Hailing from Amsterdam, Adrian Vandenberg’s eponymously named band were a sensation when they came onto the scene in the early eighties. Their early run of albums, Vandenberg, Heading For A Storm and Alibi established this Dutch outfit as a force to be reckoned with – and they toured relentlessly, supporting bands like Kiss, Rush and The Scorpions. The band was wound down when Adrian accepted the invite to join Whitesnake in 1987 and played on their mega-hit, ‘Here I Go Again’.
But he’s back in the saddle again with a new version of Vandenberg, alongside Mats Leven (vocals), Randy van der Elson (bass) and Koen Herfst (drums), and Vandenberg himself shows he’s lost none of his flair and, at the age of 69, he can still trade licks with the best of them. The band released 2020 to a receptive audience and they’re now back with new album, Sin. It’s an album of only nine tracks of relatively short, sharp bursts of rock, with title track ‘Sin’ being the longest at a tad under seven minutes. If you like 1980’s rock and are a fan of Whitesnake, this is an album which’ll capture your attention as Vandenberg fall somewhere between Nickleback and Whitesnake.
Opener ‘Thunder & Lightning’ is pure 1980’s hair metal and is absolutely redolent of late 80’s Whitesnake. Imagine hearing Whitesnake playing but with a different vocalist to David Coverdale and you’re near the mark. Vocalist Mats Leven actually manages to give a very creditable impersonation of the late great Ronnie James Dio on tracks like ‘Burning Skies’ and power ballad ‘Out Of The Shadows’. The title track ‘Sin’ is a power ballad with sizzling guitar licks from the man himself. Vandenberg certainly knows how to rock and they give full rein to this on ‘Walking On Water,’ ‘Light It Up’ and ‘Hit The Ground Running’. Matt Leven’s vocals sadly don’t do justice to the lyrics on ‘Baby You’ve Changed,’ and someone with a little more empathy could have made this a better song.
If you’re familiar with Adrian Vandenberg, there’ll be nothing here which’ll surprise you. His band plays fast-driving riffs and rock up a storm, and they’d be an ideal support act for a top metal attraction.