Highway Chile - On The Road Again

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Independent
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 53:28:00

In the early 80s, Highway Chile, together with bands such as Vandenberg, Picture, Bodine and Vengeance, dominated the heavy rock scene in the Netherlands. Highway Chile toured with the likes of Motörhead, Whitesnake, Michael Schenker Group and Y&T. The well-known, but unfortunately late, Dutch DJ Alfred Lagarde was a huge fan of the band and produced their album Storybook Heroes (1983). Unfortunately the band split up in 1984. Ernst van Ee (drums) and Ben Blauw (guitar) formed Helloïse and the remaining members continued Highway Chile, but that did not last very long. Then, in 2002, the band came back together and after a tour, recorded a live album, aptly named On The Road Again.

The music of Highway Chile can best be described as kick ass, straight on, no bullshit, hard rock. This live album has been recorded without any overdubs, and shows the sheer power of the band, with a star role for vocalist Robert Soeterboek (Wicked Sensation, Ayreon), whose powerful voice gives the songs the extra edge. The sound of the band is founded on the solid drums of Ernst van Ee (Hello?se, Threnody), fast, heavy and steady, two great guitar players, Martin Mens and Attila Szabo (Blind Justice) and bass player Edwin den Haag (Blind Justice). They play classic Highway Chile songs such as "Highway Chile Is Coming To Get You," "Jesse James," "Headbangers" (with an superb guitar solo!) and "Rock & Roll Blitzkrieg." But amidst all this kick ass rock, they also have room for a few ballads, "Midnight Delight" and "Endless Trail." The album just rocks, nothing more, nothing less. With Soeterboek as the frontman, in a way that reminded me of Dio when [he was] singing with Rainbow. Hmm, vocals have similarities and in "Rock & Roll Blitzkrieg," I hear a hint of Blackmore in the guitar riffs ... coincidence?

The album brings you the show as they played it, with a great atmosphere and it will just make you crank up the volume. On The Road Again is not just a piece of Dutch hard rock history, it is also a new start for Highway Chile, as they are working on new material. Unfortunately Robert Soeterboek has been replaced by Stan Verbraak (Helloïse), but still promising. So get this album while it's available and experience the sensation of highway Chile live. And beware ... they will come to get you!

Similar bands: Vengeance, Helloïse

[This review originally appeared July 2003 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
Highway Chile Is Coming To Get You / Jesse James / Going Blind / Hard Life / Carol / Bite In Anger / Midnight Delight / Fever / This Girl / Endless Trail / Headbangers / Rock & Roll Blitzkrieg

Martin Mens - guitar
Ernst Van Ee - drums
Edwin Den Haag - bass
Robert Soeterboek - vocals
Attila Szabo - guitar

Storybook Heroes (1983)
Fever (1984)
On The Road Again (2002)

Genre: Rock

Origin NL

Added: December 18th 2004
Reviewer: Marcel Haster
Artist website: www.highwaychile.nl
Hits: 930
Language: english


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