Released: 2012, Liljgren Records
Pellek is cool. Normally, I would not consider a person who performed on the TV show ‘The X-Factor’ (Norway version) to be cool, but he has spun his enormous vocal talent into the realms of Metal and we are glad to have him on our side battling against the forces of utterly crap music. This dude is also the singer of Damnation Angels and this is his first solo album. Go to YouTube and familiarize yourself with his 4-octave range, there are a several cool clips floating around. Although it might seem a bit early in his career for a solo album, this initial effort shows his incredible talent and enormous potential both as singer and song-writer.
His debut album, BAG OF TRICKS released on the Liljgren label, falls firmly in Euro Metal / Power Metal camp. 11 songs, including two instrumentals runs only 42 minute for a batch of widely varied songs with a full and glossy production. There are certainly many symphonic elements with female vocals, keyboards, acoustic piano, acoustic guitar, strings, brass horns in fact at times this sounds kinda like the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, which is a very good project to be compared to. There is a lot of pomp and circumstance with melodramatic vocal delivery, inter-spliced with soaring clean solos
BAG OF TRICKS is an effort to showcase his song-writing talent as much as his singing. I say that because he doesn’t really sing as much as he could on his own record. Pellek has recruited some notable guests top join him on his debut including, Amanda Sommerville, (Epica, Aina) Tommy Karevik (Kamelot), and Oliver Hartmann (At Vance). At least half the songs have a guest star on vocals. The bulk of the instrumentation and playing seems to have been handled by wonder-kid, Tommy ReinXeed who handles, guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and the orchestration. Accordingly the project on paper is real mish-mash of performers but the strength of Pellek is to pull all those parts together into a world class, symphonic Power Metal album. His duets with the various female vocals really shine and everything is big and over-the-top in terms of delivery. Everyone sings and plays their heart out, even the ballads sound uber-dramatic.
BAG OF TRICKS is a pretty apt title because Pellek brings a lot to the table on every song, orchestration, pounding drums, blazing guitars, sopranos wailing left, right and center, with more than a nod to the hat of the more progressive part of Stratovarius and Sonata Arctica. Each song is more of a mini-suite in terms of the amount of sound crammed into the short-lengths, the longest song being less than five minutes long. Pellek embodies the Euro Power Metal soundtrack, symphonic style to the max…and I love it!