Kingdom Come – Rendered Waters (2011)
If you were a fan of hard rock in the late 80s, then you are most likely familiar with Kingdom Come. When their self titled debut was released in 1988, Kingdom Come was all over the radio. Unfortunately for the band, too many people thought that Led Zeppelin had reunited. It was a joke that still haunts the band to this day. It also takes away from the quality of their first two albums (Kingdom Come and In Your Face) which are two of the greatest hard rock albums released in the late 80s.
There is a huge problem with Kingdom Come’s latest release, Rendered Waters, and it has nothing to do with the way the disc sounds. The music is quite incredible and long time fans will enjoy this album. However, the problem that stems from Rendered Waters is the band’s decision to re-record tracks from previous albums and then add in some new songs. If the band wanted to release a greatest hits album, then they should have done it the proper way, by releasing the original versions of these classic songs.
To me, this decision is just plain lazy. A greatest hits album by Kingdom Come would be a welcome treat. A new album by Kingdom Come would be a welcome treat (especially after hearing the new tracks on Rendered Waters). However, the decision to re-record songs and release them now shows a lackadaisical attitude toward the fans.
As for the songs themselves, they are terrific. While I still prefer the original versions of songs like “Pushing Hard” and “Seventeen” the re-worked versions have a nice ring to them. Lenny Wolf is no longer the screamer from the 80s; his voice has mellowed with time. This provides new insight to the songs and adds some harmony that was not present on the original versions. That’s not to say the new versions are better (or worse for that matter) they are just different takes on classic songs.
On “Pushing Hard” it’s all too evident that Wolf can no longer hit the high notes like he did during his heyday. That doesn’t mean the revamped version of this track sounds awful, because that is not true. However, if fans already own the earlier version, this reworked track does not add anything in the way of musical depth. The band would have been better served to just leave well enough alone.
The new tracks on the album are solid and only leaving you wanting more.”Blue Tree”s is classic rock done in the modern style that sounds amazing. From the opening drum beats to the intense guitar work of Eric Foerster, this is a great song that shows the direction Kingdom Come’s music is heading in. That direction is a welcome one. Wolf’s voice is strong on this track and makes it obvious that the man is still an exceptional singer.
“Is It Fair” starts with a cool riff from Foerster that bleeds into the entire track. Foerster and Wolf show they are a great guitar tandem on this cut. The solo is intense and overall, “Is It Fair” is an enjoyable song. While the basic back beat of the tune is simple in structure, the overall combination of the band’s ability to play great music with Wolf’s vocals sounding as sweet as ever, make this a solid new song.
“Don’t Remember” proves to be the shortest of all the songs on Rendered Waters, but that doesn’t make it the weakest. A slow, melodic, powerful ballad, “Don’t Remember” is another great new song added to Rendered Waters. Foerster’s solo is an amazing treat and really ties the entire song together while showing off his incredible guitar playing ability. “Don’t Remember” is a song that fans are bound to fall in love with.
Rendered Waters is like a visit with an old friend. The memories that you share are the same in theme, but the stories get a little longer and little more embellished, as is the case when any old friends get together. Hopefully for their next album, Kingdom Come will move forward and provide us with a full album of new material. That would be a true gift from an old friend.
- Can’t Deny
- The Wind
- Blue Trees
- Should I
- I’ve Been Trying
- Pushing Hard
- Is It Fair
- Living Out Of Touch
- Don’t Remember
- Break Down The Wall
Kingdom Come Is:
Lenny Wolf – Vocals/Guitar
Frank Binke – Bass
Eric Foerster – Guitar
Nader Rahy – Drums