PALACE – Master Of The Universe (2016)
“Master Of The Universe” is the debut album from PALACE, the new Swedish melodic hard rock band founded by lead singer / guitarist Michael Palace, who began working with Frontiers as a songwriter and guitar player for First Signal (featuring Harry Hess), Cry of Dawn (with Goran Edman), Kryptonite (featuring Jakob Samuel) and Toby Hitchcock.
The successful collaborations led to a worldwide record deal with Frontiers, and let me tell you that PALACE rocks greatly.
Palace is heavily influenced by ’80s imagery and sounds, basically massive arena melodic rock / AOR. Musically the band is really melodic with some welcomed edge here and there. Vocally, Michael Palace has some similarities to Steve Newman, and works very well with the material.
This debut starts with the brilliant, catchy and super melodic tune of title track ‘Master Of The Universe’, an ’80s melodic gem that leaves you breathless and recalls bands such as Journey and Hardline.
The groovier ‘Cool Running’ rocks you via its excellent rhythm, solid arrangements and the killer chorus, then ‘Part Of Me’ is another superb track with a commercial potential that several years ago would have been a chart hit.
Palace deliver a good song after another, like the huge, American stadium flavored ‘Matter In Hand’, the AOR-ish ‘Path To Light’ and the anthem ‘She Said It’s Over’, while in ‘Young, Wild, Free’ we are dealing with sharper guitars and an overall more punchy attack.
Palace’s “Master Of The Universe” brings to mind late ’80s US Arena Rock / Melodic Hard Rock especially in the songwriting style / sonic approach, benefited by a production akin the big names from that era.
It’s all good, melodic, bright and rockin’, always with melody at the forefront.
Terrific debut. HIGHLY Recommended
01. Master Of The Universe
02. Cool Runnin’
03. Man Behind The Gun
04. Part Of Me
05. No Exit
06. Matter In Hand
07. Path To Light
08. Rules Of The Game
09. She Said It’s Over
10. Stranger’s Eyes
11. Young / Wild / Free
Michael Palace – Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
Rick Digorio – Guitar
Soufian Ma’Aoui – Bass
Marcus Johansson – Drums