Originally released back in 2006 as Time To Take A Stand, Moonstone Project’s re-named, re-packaged, and re-released Hidden In Time comes complete with three extra tracks. The re-packaging is excellent with superbly gothic artwork but it is the list of guest artists that really catches the eye.
Moonstone Project is the invention of Italian guitarist Matt Filippini who surrounds himself with a whole cast list in the ‘anyone who is anyone’ category. Deep Purple past and present are represented with Glenn Hughes and Ian Paice. Carmine Appice (Cactus, Vanilla Fudge etc) , Graham Bonnet (Rainbow and Michael Schenker Group), Tony Franklin (Whitesnake) Steve Walsh (Kansas), Eric Bloom (Blue Oyster Cult), Paul Shortino (Quiet Riot) and Kelly Keeling (MSG) all make appearances. It is an ambitious enterprise in the extreme and one that could easily have collapsed under the weight of the names involved.
Instead what we get is an album that has shades of a missing mid-era Rainbow release or something from within the vaults of Deep Purple Mark III. It is a hard rock album whose collective musicianship is never in question. Therefore its relevance rests almost solely on the material at hand and whether it all gels together. The clue is in how this collection of musicians got together. On hearing the tracks, that Filippini had put together, Ian Paice threw his mighty reputation into the ring and was quickly followed by Glenn Hughes and others. Hidden In Time follows the likes of Rainbow in an exploration of light and dark, heavy and subtle, and all shades in between. A well balanced fusion of blues and classic rock riffs, the album manages to raise its head above most of the competition.
Album opener “Slave Of Time”, sung by Kelly Keeling, is quality blues building in spine jangling power. “Not Dead Yet” has Graham Bonnet reinventing himself and Rainbow whilst “Rose In Hell”, sung by Glenn Hughes, is pure Deep Purple Stormbringer era. There is a loyal cover of Free’s “Fire and Water” that is sung by Enrico Madidini, not an easy one for any vocalist when you consider the legacy. Having said that he delivers it extremely well. The funky “Beggar of Love” and “Pictures Of My Lonely Days” lead into “City Of Lites” a Steve Walsh led track. The album's standout follows “Where Do You Hide The Blues You’ve Got”. It is this sort of quality moment that would have had the list of stars queuing up to take part. This one is sung by the brilliantly on form Glenn Hughes – he’s not called the ‘voice of rock’ for nothing.