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Last Autumn's Dream
II
February 2005
Released: 2005, Frontiers Records/Atenzia Records
Rating: 2.0/5
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

If you want some back info about this band please go and check out metal-rules.com review data base for other album reviews.



This Swedish band/project with the singer Mikael Erlandsson and guitar player Andy Malecek from the German band Fair Warning released their debut album last year. By that time the band also consisted of the three Europe members Ian, John and Mic but now they are out with the newly reunited Europe. So when Andy and Mikael got the chance to make a new album they had to search for new members. To replace them they took in other highly skilled and renowned musicians also from Sweden, Marcel (Talisman etc) on bass, Jamie (Talisman) on drums and Thomas (Crystal Blue) on keyboards. Thomas is a talented keyboard player and song writer from the Swedish band Crystal Blue, he’s been a part of the material writing on this album. I’d think that it’s Andy and Mikael who’s responsible for the lyric/music writing on the 13 tracks.



I know I’m nagging now but just look at what the songs are about…love and more love. There must be more to write about than love...or am I wrong?



According the info I have, it says that Mikael is one of the best singer/song writers in Sweden today....I find that strange ‘cause I’ve never heard of him before.



This is listed as melodic rock and that’s true but add to that some pieces of very radio friendly melodic hard rock you get a fuller picture. The main focus of the music evolves around lead vocals and keyboard and nothing more. The keyboard have a much bigger part of the soundpicture here compared to the debut. Mikael gets a lot of help from choirs and Andy is more laid back with his guitar playing. The band bio praised Andy as “...a very talented guitarist, he has a brilliant tone and sense of putting guitar harmonies together”. Well, unfortunatly Andy doesn't show too much of that talent on here.



Just as on the debut, the guys recorded this album in three different studios, this time it’s XTC production studio in Stockholm, Sunday music studio in Gothenburg and Rick Brightman music production in Berlin Germany. Last Autumn’s Dream haven’t only changed members but also producers. This time they have worked with Ulf Wahlberg, but Ulf hasn’t done a particularly good job I must say. It sounds weak, thin, and far to laid back. Andy hasn’t too good of a sound on his guitar, and keyboard is far to high up in the mix. Mikael’s voice sounds uninspired and empty, the only thing that sounds good is the rhythm section.



This follow up impresses even less than the debut because of the lack of good material, the unprofessional production and the large amount of ballads and uptempo ballads. Maybe they should have cut down on the songs and landed the album on about 10 tracks. This is way too melodic even for me and the love theme is just overdone and boring. The title of the album screams of lack of imagination as well.



On the positive side, I have to mention the tight rhythm section and even if the material varies in quality there are a few good tracks like “LOST IN YOU”, “HEAT OF EMOTION”, “HELPLESS” and “THIS GOTTA BE LOVE”.



A tour in Japan is planned for at the beginning of '05. With further appearances in Europe to be discussed at a later stage.



Labels: http://www.frontiers.it AND http://www.atenzia.com
Track Listing

Brand new life
Lost in you
Heat of emotion
So much love in the world
Helpless
This gotta be love
Up in paradise
Over and out
(Always be) you and I
Running
Round and round
Keep falling
A place to hide in town

Lineup

Mikael Erlandsson – lead vocals, b-vox
Andy Malecek – guitar
Jamie Borger – drums
Thomas Lassar – keyboards
Marcel Jacobs – bass

Contact

N/A


Next review: » Last Autumn's Dream - II
Previous review: » Lars Eric Mattsson - Eternity

Last Autumn's Dream
II
May 2005
Released: 2005, Frontiers Records
Rating: 2.5/5
Reviewer: Gabriel C. Zolman

Let me clarify my numerical rating a bit: if you like poodle-haired power rock, like Journey and Whitesnake, or are a rock-oriented musician who is into “musician bands,” or are simply really old, pursue this as a “3.5”. It’s well-played, and well-written.

If you dig 80’s-styled Heavy Metal, and a few Progressive Rock bands, pursue this like a “2.5,” as it’s passable, but not terribly aggressive.

If you listen to Nile and At The Gates…well, you’ll probably just point and snicker, anyway. Maybe you could buy this for your mother, so she’ll put the Air Supply and Bread away.



Despite an altered line-up, this is perhaps as strong of a release as the band’s previous, self-titled LP. But then, if you are not a fan of Dokken-styled Eurocentric Melodic Metal or Asia-styled Arena Rock, this doesn’t mean jack shit, then, does it?



L.A.D., neither young nor strapping, features ex-Fair Warning guitarist Andy Malacek, Marcel Jacob and Jamie Borger of Malmsteen/Talisman “fame,” ex-Crystal Blue keyboardist Thomas Lassar, as well as critically acclaimed Swedish solo artist Mikael Erlandsson. In a sense, it is a “supergroup,” but only if you live near to a fjord.



Americans will, of course, ask, “Is it all nearly as gay is this all sounds?” To which, I cannot answer. Is Dokken “gay”? Were LA Metal staples (and Transformers: The Movie icons) Lion “gay”? Dream Evil? Europe? King Kobra? If you answered “yes” to any of these, you might want to shop elsewhere. But if your manhood isn’t threatened by the presence of bands that might appear in Metal Edge or Hit Parader (circa 1983), read on, and save your boat tokens for another pricey import that you’ll trip out of the bathhouse to obtain.



The band is melodic and classy. Are they heavy? No. Similar in spirit to Dokken’s debut or mid-period Malmsteen, this is the sort of AOR stadium rock that proliferated and thrived in the mid-eighties. Old people listen to this; and musicians will probably like it—the guitarwork is actually genuinely inspiring, if not a bit understated. Fans of the radio rock of yore will adore and idolize this—and your girlfriend will probably give it a spin or two. “Lost In You” has a decent groove—though the Asia-styled keyboards and backing harmonies threaten to rob it of any aggression. The vocals are what salvage the track—Mikael sounds like a young Bryan Adams, before he became a schmaltzy balladeer. (You do remember that he used to play actual Rock Music once, right?) “Heat Of Emotion” sounds like a Stan Bush soundtrack burner. Sometimes, the musicianship reaches near-Progressive heights, but in an effeminate sort of way—kind of like if Dream Theater were playing for their wives’ dinner social.



All in all, this is ballad-heavy AOR, and anathema to those who rock with balls out and both fists in the air. It is kryptonite to codpieces. Even Stryper, Ratt, and Fastway, with one guitar tied behind their backs, could out-rock this. For fans of the style, it might just do the trick…but know that their names are not, nor never will be, written in the Book Of Heavy Metal.
Track Listing

1. Brand New Life
2. Lost In You
3. Heat Of Emotion
4. So Much Love In The World
5. Helpless
6. This Gotta Be Love
7. Up In Paradise
8. Over And Out
9. (Always Be) You And I
10. Running
11. Round And Round
12. Keep Falling
13. A Place to Hide In Town

Lineup

Mikael Erlandsson – Lead and Backing Vocals
Andy Malecek – Guitars
Jamie Borger – Drums
Thomas Lassar – Keyboards
Marcel Jacob – Bass

Contact

N/A


Next review: » Last Autumn's Dream - Nine Lives
Previous review: » Lars Eric Mattsson - Eternity





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