|CD REVIEW Van Halen|
Band : Van Halen
I had my doubts about the announced new Van Halen album. Them being among the first bands who drew me towards hard rock and heavy metal, together with bands like Iron Maiden, Saxon, Motorhead and a few other bands.
I followed their career during the years, up to the moment when they split with singer David Lee Roth, but when it was announced that Sammy Hagar would be their new singer, I still followed them. Sadly enough their ways split, and in came Gary Cherone. Although I always found Gary was, and still is an extraordinary, but underrated singer (just look at the footage from the Freddie Mercury tribute concert, where Gary is one of the few, if not maybe the only singer who manages to sing the Queen songs in almost the same way, be it with a different voice than Freddie did himself), but sadly enough this cooperation created no sparks, resulting in the Van Halen III album being the one that had the worst sales of all.
And then it all went quite. Eddie announcing that he was struggling with cancer, rumors about Sammy coming back as vocalist, then again it would be David. At long last nobody really knew what it was going to be.
And yet, here, after 14 years, their new album is finally released. Is it any good? Yes. Is it a super album? No; if you’ve followed their career like me, it seems you’ve heard it all before. I miss the original bass player however, since Michael Anthony no longer is part of the band, and is replaced by Eddie’s son Wolfgang. And when you take into account that David Lee Roth is almost sixty years old, it is even more astounding. He sounds almost as youthfull as on the first Van Halen albums, even if he’s gained a few pounds over the years (but so has Eddie).
To sum it up : I had my doubts at first, and on the first spin didn’t really like the album. But a few spins later, I was converted.