Courtesy Classic Rock Magazine
Nikolo Kotzev's Nostradamus
(SPV 089-72362 DCD)
This double CD, containing more than 90 minutes of classically influenced melodic pomp rock, is preposterous enough to demand four quite crucial questions. Who is Nikolo Kotzev? How did he persuade so many rock musicians to participate in a rock opera about the life of the 16th Century clairvoyant?
Also, more significantly, where does he go drinking? And can we go too?
Bulgarian-born violinist Kotzev was a top session guitarist before joining Swedish soft rockers Baltimore. He's augmented here by singers Joe Lynn Turner, Glenn Hughes, Alannah Myles, Sass Jordan, Dougie White, Jorn Lande and the ex-Europe trio of John Leven (bass), Mic Michaeli (keyboards) and Ian Haugland (drums). Quite a cast.
Based around classical frameworks, the songs are embellished with ornate keyboards and/or widdly guitars. "Henriette" begins like - ulp! - Bryan Adams '(Everything I Do) I Do It For You' and mutates into a Kansas-style, violin-swamped romp. Hughes, playing Henry II, King of France, is in especially fine vocal form on Caught In a Rush and as an exercise in self-indulgence it takes some beating.