Ronnie Romero has delivered the goods with his newest album of cover versions of plugged gems from the annals of heavy rock. The metal gods are pleased. When first discovered 10 years ago by Ritchie Blackmore and his wife Candice Night, the Chilian singer has taken the reins of his good fortune and parlayed himself into a niche nostalgic run. His fans are not complaining. They love Ronnie’s versions of classic underrated songs that other imitators will not even cover.
From zero knowledge of the English language, Ronnie sang phonetically when he accepted to be the frontman of Rainbow. He has come a long way since that baptism of fire when he went on tour with Richie Blackmore. Singers will tell you that is a feat in itself to tour with Ritchie. Ronnie received accolades for his valiant effort, but with that also came criticism. Fame brings a whole set of new problems. His marriage was turmoils and hatred from certain sectors of his fanbase led Ronnie to contemplate suicide. Thank god he did not follow through.
Ronnie Romero: Raised On Heavy Radio is Ronnie’s second album. This album is much stronger than the first. The musicianship is a lot more cohesive. His song picks are quite original. My favorite tune on this album is Black Sabbath’s The Shining a greatly underrated song. Another quite surprising song covered is Deep Purple’s The Battle Rages On. I was disappointed with No More Tears, the bass sound was great but the rest of the music lacked a bit, especially the keyboards. The Four Horsemen in my opinion lacked bite. The bread and butter song on the album is A Light In The Black by Rainbow. The rest of the album fits nicely like a glove.
The diversity of all vocalists on this album that Ronnie covers are all different and unique. Ronnie manages not only to match them but even surpass them at certain points in the songs. He also makes the songs his own with his singing style. I hope the future holds a new set of songs recorded in the same vein but with original material. Ronnie has a great future ahead of him carrying the torch for heavy rock fans. There are not too many vocalists like him out there.
I think that the base musicians around Ronnie Romero compliment him on this album but he should surround himself with edgier musicians in the future to further explore the range of his vocals. It is one thing when established rock bands that do covers, it is another when a one-man show does covers. Ronnie Romero elevated himself with this album. It is time for him to join the big leagues.
1. The Battle Rages On (Deep Purple cover)
2. Metal Daze (Manowar cover)
3. Turbo Lover (Feat. Nozomu Wakai) (Judas Priest cover)
4. Hallowed Be Thy Name (Iron Maiden cover)
5. Fast As A Shark (Accept cover)
6. No More Tears (Feat. Gus G.) (Ozzy Osbourne cover)
7. The Shining (Feat. Chris Caffery) (Black Sabbath cover)
8. A Light In The Black (Rainbow cover)
9. Kind Hearted Light (Feat. Roland Grapow) (Masterplan cover)
10. You Don’t Remember, I’ll Never Forget (Yngwie Malmsteen)
11. The Four Horsemen (Metallica)
Ronnie Romero – vocals
Jose Rubio – guitars
Javi Garcia – bass
Andy C – drums
Alessandro Del Vecchio – keyboards
Alfredo Alonso – Guitar solo on ‘Metal Daze’
Nozomu Wakai – Guitar solo on ‘Turbo Lover’
Gus G. – Guitar solo on ‘No More Tears’
Chris Caffery – All guitars on ‘The Shining’
Roland Grapow – Rhythm & lead guitars on ‘Kind Hearted Light’
Corina Minda – Backing vocals on ‘Metal Daze’, ‘Fast As A Shark’, and spoken vocals on ‘No More Tears’
Produced by: Alessandro Del Vecchio
Executive Producer/A&R: Serafino Perugino