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MATTSSON ‘War!’ Lion Music (2005)

This one first went into the CD player with some degree of trepidation – what are you about to hear when the press release states that this is a “non-fictional rock opera about the state of this planet we call the Earth” and the writer (composer), producer, guitarist, bass player and most keyboards are by a Finnish musician that you’ve never heard of!! Lars Eric Mattsson is the Finn concerned and this album seems to have been a labour of love with a great deal of thought, effort and variation put into the concept.

Opening track “Where’s Our Chance” starts as the album means to go on with a Native American chant leading into typical Scandinavian guitar shredding. “Your Dream” features a sitar intro and leads into a number with a distinctive Alcatrazz feel to it.

Vocals are supplied by a mixture of vocalists including Irene Jansson (Ayreon), Lance King (Balance of Power) and Mark Boals (ex-Yngwie) together with ever present female backing vocals. These backing vocals add the extra dimensions to a lot of the tracks featured. Keyboard solos feature the talents of the mighty Vitalij Kuprij.

The highlight of the album is the epic “War Suite Concerto” which clocks in at just over 14 minutes and is split into eight movements for want of a better word. Lots of female chanting, acoustic guitars, tom toms, orchestrations and yes quite a bit of shredding.

“Requiem” concludes an enjoyable album – “No innocence in this troubled time…”

Overall – a weird one but I like it!


Review by Phil Berisford

Related>> Album review

***** 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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