Supergroups are in general the prerogative of foreign countries and of some label who made it their creed. France sometimes manages to cause surprise with bands whose members have a huge experience et a strong reputation. This is the case with ALPHA MOUNTAIN, a 100% French band created by singer and guitarist Steph HONDE.
Trained in France and having played six-strings in CAFÉ BERTRAND, HONDE has rubbed shoulders with great musicians, opening for a DEEP PURPLE tour or touring with stage support band of Paul DI’ANNO, former IRON MAIDEN singer. Then he crossed the Atlantic to form the international supergroup HOLLYWOOD MONSTERS with Tim BOGERT (CACTUS ; VANILLA FUDGE; BECK, BOGERT and APPICE…), Vinnie APPICE (BLACK SABBATH, DIO…), Don AIREY (COLOSSEUM II, DEEP PURPLE…) or Neil MURRAY (BLACK SABBATH, WHITESNAKE…) pto name a few. He has also played on a large number of albums with NOW OR NEVER (III, 2020) or FRÉDÉRIC SLAMA’S AOR (L.A. Suspicion, 2022). Finally, recorded under his name a fantastic cover album (Covering the Monsters, 2017) of artists of the Eighties who are part of his musical background (SAXON, JUDAS PRIEST, IRON MAIDEN, THE MISFITS…). Not to mention SCREAM TAKER project (with singer Jim CREAN – APPICE DRUM WARS, HAIR NATION – and drummer Vinnie APPICE).
A French supergroup
In ALPHA MOUNTAIN, HONDE has enlisted here the help of singer Butcho VUKOVIC (WATCHA, LAST TEMPTATION…), drummer Éric LEBAILLY (ADAGIO, Louis BERTIGNAC…), bass player Pascal BARON (Yarol POUPAUD, SLOANE SQUARE BAND…) and another bass player, Fred SCHNEIDER (LAG I RUN, Adrian Byron BURNS…), on 5 tracks. No need to tell that ALPHA MOUNTAIN looks like a French supergroup whose music is superbly highlighted by the artwork of Tristan GREATREX (UFO, MSG, LIONHEART…).
With its 11 tracks, Alpha Mountain distils a modern rock within which HONDE compositions are supported by VUKOVIClyrics. Between power rock and hard rock, powdered by prog rock elements, the album spreads energy and subtlety – with a powerful and creative rhythmic bedrock – into a wide variety of moods wherein VUKOVIC and HONDE voices ntermingle, reminding the great duets of DEEP PURPLE – Mark III (and IV) – or HUGHES TURNER PROJECT.. Creative and unclassifiable, Alpha Moutain makes nevertheless many allusions to DEEP PURPLE, PINK FLOYD, DIO, THUNDER, JOE WALSH on and off. However, Steph HONDE trademark is present and distinctive, suggesting that ALPHA MOUNTAINis probably a more consistent and achieved project than HOLLYWOOD MONSTERS, is tell you! With songs like “All in Vain” or “Serenity”, Alpha Mountain should reach summits!