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LAUDAMUS ‘Lost In Vain’ Escape Music ESM088 (2003)


Christian rock band that hail from Sweden and despite being around for over a decade this is only their second album! Their debut, Unlimited Love came out in 2000. The bands line-up is Peter Stenlaund (vocals/guitars), Jonas Stenland (bass) and Jonas Cederteg (drums). Here they hook-up with Ken Tamplin who produces the album, adds backing vocals and guitar. Other guests include Talismans Howie Simon and Jeff Scott Soto, ex-Europe guitarist Kee Marcello, ex-Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman and vocalist Rob Rock (Impellitteri/Alex Rudi Pell). Not a band guest list at all!

What strikes you most about this album is just how damn heavy it is! The guitars are straight from the Savatage/Megadeth school of chugging riffs. There is also the Ken Tamplin trademark of layered harmony vocals on the choruses, which to these ears is sheer bliss! (Very apparent on Mother Evolution, a song that would sit well on a Shout album). The lyrics have a religious leaning but not as in your face as say Stryper. Lost In Vain has a deep chugging riff underpinning the tune and it soon becomes apparent that vocalist Peter Stenlaund is very suited to this style of music. Free is a classic hard rocker, with its gang choir chorus and guitar to the front of the mix (for guiatr fans there is planety to enjoy on here as you would expect from such a guitar orientated guest list). Heaviest track goes to I Am, from its rapid fire drum opening to the bass/vocal mid-section. One for the Maiden fans! Only one ballad, Hear My Prayer where harmony vocals are mixed in with some top-notch acoustic guitar courtesy of Ken Tamplin. It marks a welcome change in pace and a fine end to the album.

Whilst your waiting for the new Savatage album buy this one, you wont de disappointed. High quality hard rock/metal and of course you get the added bonus of Ken Tamplin producing and helping out. As I said before dont let the Christina tag put you off as you will be missing out on a treat.



Review by Jason Ritchie

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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