Released: 2004, GOI Music
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
Grenoble, France’s Lonewolf recently unleashed their latest opus entitled UNHOLY PARADISE. Despite a four year hiatus, the band is approaching their twelfth anniversary and continues their unique brand of epic power metal. Lonewolf employs some excellent dual guitar interplay that is reminiscent of Iron Maiden but what really sinks the band is the horrendous vocals of Jens Borner. A power metal band should have a vocalist with a range which Borner clearly does not possess. His style would be better suited for a heavier, darker band but the soaring vocals are sorely missed here. Also, the band self-produced UNHOLY PARADISE which is certainly admirable but the botched job has created a very thin sound. Granted, these guys probably weren’t handed a big recording budget but I have heard better demo productions than this!
The lead guitar of Damien Capolongo is first realized on the intro of “S.P.Q.R.,” where he lays down a very majestic march. The rest of the track is also blessed with his obvious skill as the solo is unmatched on this release. Once Borner and Capolongo begin their tandem attack, the results are extremely Maiden-esque. Their magic is further displayed on “Snake In Eden” and the glorious seven minute epic, “Erik The Red.” This song could easily be a Steve Harris-penned heavy metal historical document complete with sound effects, that wonderful roiling gallop and amazing rhythms. Where things go wrong is when Borner tries to belt out a tune such as on the title track. His forced warbling sounds as if he was running while singing the chorus and earlier during “1789,” where he just cannot hit the heights needed to take the song to the next level.
UNHOLY PARADISE contains some excellent guitar work and is a solid batch of songs. It’s just a shame that the vocals do not fix the music. To continue with the Iron Maiden comparisons, Jens Borner seems as out of place as Blaze Bayley did. Not a bad vocalist but definitely the wrong man for the band and its sound. Capolongo has some serious talent and the band can obviously write good songs, so if you can overlook some awkward vocals, UNHOLY PARADISE might put a smile on your face.
KILLER KUTS: “S.P.Q.R.,” “Behind The Cross,” “Erik The Red”