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WINTERLONG ‘The Second Coming’ Lion Music LMC075 (2003)

Second album, the follow-up to 2001’s ‘Valley Of The Lost’, with the brainchild of the band being guitarist Thorbjorn Englund. Here he is joined by vocalist Mikael Holm, keyboard player Mistheria and drummers Andres Lil (Vanden Plas) and Anders Johansson (Hammerfall) - how many albums does this guy drum on??? Plus you get Lars Eric Mattsson helping out on production and backing arrangements.

Now if you hadn’t guessed for the line-up this is another melodic power metal band and they are good to boot! Surprisingly the guitars are not up front in the mix allowing you to pick out the vocals and keys very easily, like on the opener ‘Twisting My Tale’ with a pummelling drum beat. The track also features a guitar workout from Englund, whose style is very much from the speed playing school. More fast paced metal on ‘We’ll Be Immortals’ backed by crashing guitar riffs and heavy, heavy drums. In between many songs you get little instrumental interludes, the best of these being the mellow ‘Call Of The Wild’. ‘Evolution’ mixes fast and slow paces complete with keyboard choir! It is very OTT but it works.

Another fine metal release from Lion and the band Winterlong are well worth your money. Nearest comparisons would be fellow label mates Mattsson and Yngwie Malmsteen. Although Englund’s guitar playing is the main feature here, it’s not at the expense of the songs and the guitar solos are not overlong. Roll on album number three!


Related>> MP3


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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