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Cornerstone Human Stain

By Daniel Höhr, European Correspondent
Tuesday, February 26, 2002 @ 12:15 AM


(Massacre)

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Cornerstone was founded by former Rainbow singer Dougie White and Royal Hunt bassman Steen Mogensen and their first album Arrival received some good reviews when it came out in December 2000. In the meantime drummer Allen Sorensen (ex-Royal Hunt) and guitarist Kaspar Damgaard (Mike Tramp) have been recruited and now the second Cornerstone album is on the shelves.

Ever since Rainbow's Stranger In Us All, there has been no doubt that Dougie White is an exceptional singer, who can easily master both Dio and Joe Lynn Turner-type vocal lines. Musically, the name Cornerstone stands for old-school heavy rock, dressed-up in a slightly more modern sound. It seems as if Cornerstone are still searching for their individual language. A lot on the record sounds like Rainbow - "Wounded Land" - or Deep Purple in their brief Joe Lynn Turner period in the early nineties. Especially "Some People Fly" and "Future Rising" remind me very much of DP's Slaves And Masters album. The ten tracks on Human Stain are nonetheless catchy songs that have the same potential as some of those by Cornerstone's role models. Driving hard rock riffs coupled with a good-old Hammond ("Midnight In Tokyo") alternate with mid-tempo grooves ("Resurrection Sympathy") and bluesy ballads ("Singing Alone" and "Sail On Stormy Waters"). I don't know if it was really necessary to include yet another 'quotation' of Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" riff in "Forever Young." It's been done ever so often and, hey, come up with something original!

On the plus side there's Dougie White's outstanding vocal performance, the playing and the clear production sound. The album is definitely recommended to heavy rock fans who like Purple, Rainbow, Dio and Thin Lizzy, or who simply look for timeless hard rock songs with great vocals. Those who look for great musical novelties might be slightly disappointed by this album.

**1/2


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