You won't recognize the name 'Stephane Honde' too readily, as the guy only recently departed his homeland (France) to hit California in 2012. In Euro haunts, he was first known for membership in the ensemble Mamooth and then for guitaristics in Cafe Bertrand, a band that opened for legends like Deep Purple and AC/DC, successful commercially and on the concert trail. Leaving that band, he enlisted with ex-Iron Maiden singer Paul Di'Anno, playing behind the esteemed gent live. All along the way, he collected a number of friends and acquaintances, and those cats you'll definitely recognize: Tim Bogert (Vanilla Fudge, Beck Bogert & Appice, etc.), Vinny Appice (Dio, Black Sabbath, etc.), Don Airey (Deep Purple, Whitesnake, tons of studio work), and others.
This is, as it should be, dominantly a Honde disc, not one of those lumbering monsters where all the talent steps on each others' feet whilst trying to hog the spotlight. Stephane's a multi-instrumental, playing guitars, piano, and bass while singing, so the noted estimables appear in various configurations throughout the 11-cut slab but well subordinated. As well, Trouble is kind of along the lines of many pick-up affairs where, as said, no one's particularly distinctive, everyone playing well in mid-line rock and roll.
The assignment to the Mausoleum label, long famed for its thrash, black, necrophilic, and other metal musics, is a tad curious, as much of Trouble is standard hard rock verging on the metallic, a far cry from Angel Witch and the like. I favor the heavier songs like Village of the Damned, which gets Whitesnakey in places, but Oh Boy, a doomy ballad, lights up halfway through for a great lyrical solo not far removed from Trapeze's latter days. All up, though, Trouble is just a decent CD that will provide good road music for when you want neither your brains blasted out nor your insomnia cured. Next time out, though, I'm hoping Honde will expend a good deal more effort in the way of composition and arrangement. All the cuts here are basically first or second drafts for what should've kept going through the process.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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