VANDERHOOF: Bringing Back '70s Hard Rock

June 18, 2003

Nearly six years after the release of the self-titled debut, legendary METAL CHURCH guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof's alter ego outfit VANDERHOOF returns with a dynamic follow-up, the adventurous "A Blur In Time". Released once again through SPV Records, the album pays homage to the acts of the '70s that made hard rock memorable, while implementing an edge of modern vitality.

"VANDERHOOF was designed out of complete frustration," says Kurdt. "I wanted to write the kind of music I wanted to listen to — melodic hard rock just does not seem to exist anymore. The '70s style rock that made me want to learn to play guitar in the first place. I'm not going to worry who's going to dig it — hardcore metalheads won't get it, but people who know the roots of rock will understand it." Hearkening the classics, Kurdt expressed a vivid admiration towards the work of DEEP PURPLE, URIAH HEEP, and vintage STYX, as the influence of each band is prevalent throughout the disc.

Kurdt's irritation with the current state of music gave way to a wellspring of inspiration, as "A Blur In Time" is a true rock album, a testimony to motivated musicianship, with each track demonstrating a different melodic soundscape without pretension — simply put, no filler!

Joining guitarist Vanderhoof in this paradoxical experiment are vocalist Drew Hart, bassist R.J. Kurtz, keyboardist Jeff Powell, and longtime METAL CHURCH drummer Kirk Arrington. Following the recording of the album, Drew Hart left the band in pursuit of family, and extraordinary new singer John DiBernardo was brought in to fill the void. A Herculean task to say the least, as the dexterous vocal performance on "A Blur In Time" is nothing short of amazing, morphing to accentuate emotion from one track to the next.

Kurdt confesses reasoning behind the intense work that has gone into the creation of the album, "Music is very important to me, and I am insulted & deeply saddened by what is considered the industry standard - the bar has dropped so far. Records are so boring, every song literally sounds the same - everything is just a quick sell anymore. I want to be stimulated by talent. There's not going to be any more 'classic' albums, because I don't think anybody has the attention span to listen to an entire album anymore. I don't know if there's going to be another 'Dark Side Of The Moon', which is sad, because music should improve, not get worse. I just want people know that there are still people out there making this kind of music."

Audio samples from "A Blur In Time" can be found here.

As to the future of METAL CHURCH, Kurdt offers a glimpse, "Don't get me wrong, I'm still into hard rock & aggression, but it's got to be done with some skill. I'm still very proud of METAL CHURCH, and we're hoping to get together and do a new record this summer. The lineup is planned to include myself, John Marshall, Kirk Arrington, Duke Erickson, and hopefully Mike Howe, but we're not sure yet."

In the meantime, VANDERHOOF has planned a date in the Pacific Northwest to reinstate powerful rock music to the scene:

Saturday, June 28th Port Orchard, WA Howling Wolf Amphitheater

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