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Spirit of Freedom (4-track demo CD)
Released: 2000, Independent
Released: 2000, Independent | Rating: 2.5/5 | Reviewer: EvilG
Don't let the guys in Taraxacum hear you call this a "project." This is foremost a band, one that is comprised of members from some well known groups. The two most notable members are Tobias Exxel on guitars, bass and backing vocals. Tobias is known for his bass work in the godlike power metal band Edguy. Then there is Steel Prophet's vocalist, Rick Mythiasin who also handles vocals in Taraxacum. The line-up is rounded out by Fredy Doernberg on keys, lap steel and backing vocals (Rough Silk, Axel Rudi Pell), Frank Wolf (ex-Squealer) plays drums on three of the demo's four tracks and finally Felix Bohnke, also from Edguy, plays drums on one track.
Let's get one thing clear right away - this band is NOT a blend of Steel Prophet and Edguy. It's obvious once you listen to the CD, and the band makes it clear in their bio, that this is something new for them. As a fan of both Steel Prophet and Edguy I guess I was a little disappointed with that because these two bands are some of the best. However, I can understand the need to make this different so it can stand on it's own and for the need for these guys as musicians to express themselves differently showing their other influences. That said I would not want to see these guys give up their "day jobs" in favor of making Taraxacum their full-time gig. I'm probably gonna be a bit overly-analytical here because I was really looking forward to this CD and seeing what it would sound like, so forgive me if this gets a little long. As for the songs on the CD, by the the best track is the opener "Spirit of Freedom." This song starts out with an 80's metal feel then heads into a way cool 70's metal groove vibe on the chorus which is reminiscent of something from Trouble. The chorus is what makes the song for me - in a few places there are even double kicks and double time drumming under the chorus. Tobias, who actually plays bass in Edguy, is also an accomplished guitar player as evidenced by both the riffing and the simple yet melodically effective solo in this song. After the solo Rick sings in a voice that I've never heard him use - I guess it's his version of the In Flames vocal style. It's nice to hear him throw in something like that. The second track on the demo is "Delirium (When Will It End?)." This track is more experimental and prog sounding. It starts out with clean guitar played with a less technical Joe Satriani-like feel like he did with the tapping in the song "Midnight" from his cool CD Surfing With The Alien. When the "heavy" part comes in after about 3 minutes, the tapping takes on a Eddie Van Halen feel. Around the 5:20 mark Rick really wails as he hits a really high note and just hangs there...cool. This song was interesting but never really picks up with enough aggression to really hold me. The third song on here is called "Think!" which although heavy has a bouncy kind of vibe to it, especially on the song's chorus. The rhythms and solos on this one are the strongest on the CD - it's just that vocally this sounds a bit too happy and pop-like. The closing track, "Alone", is the ballad of the CD. It's not too bad as far a ballads go, a little sappy. It does have an interesting solo with some uniquely chosen notes and bends - pretty cool.
Since the recording of this demo, Taraxacum have obtained a record deal with Major MTM Music. If all is on schedule the band should be in this studio right now recording their full-length CD which is expected out by March 2001. Personally, I hope there are more songs on it like "Spirit of Freedom."
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