Published on October 10th, 2016 | by Justin G.
Palace: Master of the Universe
Palace is the latest group of young hotshots from Sweden to take up the banner of classic 1980s melodic rock. Formed by vocalist/guitarist Michael Palace, who you may remember from Harry Hess’s side project First Signal, Palace brings the old school AOR much like Work of Art and Houston.
Master of the Universe is the debut Palace album, and if the album title alone doesn’t give you that ’80s soundtrack vibe, it won’t take long for the actual songs to accomplish that. This is ultra-polished, ultra-catchy AOR with big hooks, very prominent keyboards and strong, steady vocals. Michael Palace sounds a bit like Ten’s Gary Hughes at times, but with more range. There are nods to the classic bands like Journey, Foreigner and Survivor, but it also brings to mind the new bands like Eclipse, H.E.A.T and Houston.
There are eleven tracks on Master of the Universe, and there really aren’t any duds. The title track and “Man Behind the Gun” are total soundtrack rockers. “Part of Me” and “No Exit” are more melodic love songs, and “Rules of the Game” and “Young, Wild and Free” have that classic Survivor sense of optimism and motivation.
It’s great to see yet another young band so totally embrace the classic ’80s AOR sound. Palace gets it right in a big way here. Not only is Master of the Universe a very strong debut, it’s also an album that fans of melodic rock – new and old – are going to thoroughly enjoy.
Summary: This is a very strong melodic rock debut.