Published on November 11th, 2017 | by Justin G.
Millenium: Hourglass: The Complete Sessions (Divebomb)
US-based melodic hard rock band Millenium always had a bit of a revolving door lineup, with founding guitarist Ralph Santolla (ex-Death, Iced Earth) as the only constant. The lineup changes paid off in a big way on the band’s 2000 album Hourglass, which featured Don Airey (Rainbow, Ozzy, Whitesnake) on keyboards and vocals by none other than a then up-and-coming Jorn Lande (Ark, Masterplan, and about a hundred other projects).
I am a huge Jorn fan, so I’m somewhat biased, but I think Hourglass is one of the best melodic rock albums in the modern era. You can tell as soon as album opener “Power to Love” kicks in that Hourglass has a totally classic melodic rock feel, only with a heavier edge and plenty of soul. Comparisons to Rainbow and Whitesnake are inevitable given Don Airey’s presence and the fact that Jorn sometimes sounds more like David Coverdale than David Coverdale does. Jorn Lande is one of the most dynamic and powerful vocalists in the genre, and his presence alone takes the band to a higher level. Comparison’s to Jorn’s solo albums are appropriate as well. In fact, Ralph Santolla played guitar on Jorn’s Starfire album. Santolla’s melodies and solos further lock in that classic melodic hard rock sound.
Hourglass is one of those rare albums that’s practically flawless from start to finish, but even still there are songs that stand out. I already mentioned “Power to Love,” which is a song I still play regularly, but “Hourglass” and “Masquerade” are great rock songs, and the soulful ballad “I Will Follow” has that classic Whitesnake feel in a big way. “Superstar” and “Rocket Ride” are a bit too bouncy, but even they work in the larger context of the album.
Hourglass is a well-written, masterfully-executed melodic hard rock album all around, and one that holds up very well over the years. It should appeal to just about anyone who is into the melodic hard rock sound. Jorn Lande fans in particular simply have to add this album to their collections. Picking a favorite Jorn album is difficult, but Hourglass remains near the top of my list.
Reissue Notes: Long out of print, Hourglass was given the deluxe reissue treatment this fall by the Divebomb label. Their reissue, titled Hourglass: The Complete Sessions, comes fully loaded. Sonically, it has been cleaned up a bit, but this is the first Divebomb reissue where the original recording couldn’t be improved upon. It does include a hefty six bonus tracks, including covers of MSG, Rainbow, The Sweet and Jefferson Starship and other rare tracks. The bonus tracks have appeared before on Millenium’s The Best Of…And More collection, but that’s out of print as well, so getting all the Jorn-era Millenium tracks on one release is a welcome development. Hourglass: The Complete Sessions also features new cover artwork and a deluxe booklet with vintage photos and a new interview with Ralph Santolla. Even if you own the original version of Hourglass and The Best Of…And More, this is a really nicely put-together reissue that does justice to a modern melodic rock classic.
Summary: Essential melodic rock, finally reissued