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Sea of Dreams
Land of Flames
Released: 1998, Independent
Excellent packaging, a somewhat evil looking CD cover and a CD title of "Land of Flames"...You would expect some of the same fire and brimstone in the music right?!?! Well, what you get here is a weaker (Norwegian) version of the power metal greats such as Helloween and Stratovarius. The lead vocalist clearly has excellent range but his voice lacks the gusto of a Michael Kiske or a Bruce Dickinson. The main flaw with the songs on this CD are the keyboards, piano and the drawn out improvisational sections with an over-usage of clean guitar that drive many tracks above the 8minutes mark. As well, the guitar sound does not slam you over the head with a feeling of "METAL." It unfortunately sounds more like a rock guitar sound. Things pick up a bit by track 4 (if you are not asleep by this time) with the song "Last Trooper" but alas this song as well drifts into monotony with clean guitars. The song also features a great guitar solo that quickly becomes overshadowed by an accompanying keyboard. I dare anyone to listen to all 14minutes of track 5 without getting bored. And no, it's not my attention span, I can appreciate bands like Dream Theatre who can play a 14minute song and keep the interest up without putting me to sleep.
Yes this CD has a few moments and yes it is evident that they can all play their respective instruments quite well, but I found it hard not to hit the fast-forward button when songs began dragging. Sure some will call this experimental, sophisticated and progressive but if I want progressive hard rock there's Dream Theater. So if you're not in a lullaby mood I doubt you'll be able to handle all 67 minutes of this CD.
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