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Released: 2012, Skar Productions
This is probably one of the more interesting and unique projects of Olaisen. I would even suggest that many fans don’t even make the connection with his career in extreme Metal as this is very different than anything he has done.
The odd album cover does not really indicate the type of music that might be on the disc, if anything I thought it would be much heavier, more along the lines of his other work in Blood Red Throne and so on. Imagine my pleasant surprise when I hear utterly world-class melodic Metal music surging from my speakers!
WINTERSLEEP is the debut album by this Norweigan band by some experienced musicians who are more well-known for their work in heavier genres. However when they got together they wanted to create an album of 80’s melodic hard rock sounds with a very slightly more modern touch and they have succeeded admirably. If you wanted a reference point, I might say they sound a bit like the heavier end of popular European, melodic Metal acts like W.E.T., Pretty Maids, Eclipse and so on.
Vocalist Jan Le Brandt has a excellent voice and this relatively unknown singer is sure to make a name for himself. His nice combination of clean vocals with just a bit of grit fit perfectly. The riffs are classic and crunchy and the songs drive a long very nicely even with the occasional burst of double-kick drumming like on the end of the track ‘The Innocence Of A Kill’. There are some slower songs, the intro of the title starts with some nice acoustic guitar and piano building in tempo and intensity before kicking off into heavier territory. There is more acoustic guitar and keyboards on the superb ballad called ‘Love Breaks The Heart’. I’m sure Olaisen’s Death Metal friends make fun of him for this ballad, but it is an excellent tear-jerker of a song. Each song has strong melodies and great choruses with classic lyrics about life and love with tracks like ‘You Will Be Gone’, and ‘Harbour Of Tears’. One of my favourite tracks is the stand-out ‘Iseline’ with some excellent solos and punchy pace.
I was not expecting this type of quality and I’m really happy to have had the chance to enjoy this gem of a record. I really hope that Big City records a new album that is as good as WINTERSLEEP.
1. Midnight Train
2. Innocence of A Kill
4. Fire And Stone
5. Too Late
6. The Last Step
8. Love Breaks The Heart
9.Harbour Of Tears
10. Will You Be Gone
Jan Le Brandt-Vocals
Geir Inge Olsen-Bass
Frank Nordeng Roe -Drums
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