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Released: 2002, MTM Music
I cannot believe how much excellent melodic hardrock/metal is coming out on the MTM label. The calibre of bands and talent is very high and Wicked Sensation are no exception.
There are many bands of this style, or in any metal genre really, and it truly takes good songs to stand out--and WS has great songs! The band name is a little plain, the cover is dull, the packaging is adequate, the band (all six of them) look totally normal, and even the lyrical content is pretty plain. With songs titles like “Love is Strange” and “Let It Ride” you have a good idea of what they are all about and you just know the tune Highspeed Chase is going to be a fiery rocker!
What made WS catch my ear despite all of these potentially damaging factors? Total kick ass songs! Wicked Sensation are from the Netherlands but they sound like they could be among the royalty of Melodic UK rock with bands like Ten and Whitesnake. Vocalist Robert Soeterboek at times is dead-ringer for David Coverdale, his smoky majestic pipes adding great depth and feel especially on the slower tracks. Overall WS are heavier than Ten or Whitesnake, straying into Blue Murder territory. A subtle difference, I know, but experienced and passionate UK rock fans will know what I mean!
The keyboards are present but not overbearing--just adding a nice texture. The guitarists are solid and competent, having nice understated melodic solos but with enough pep and flair on the fast tracks to keep things moving. The production and mix are excellent-- those had a helping hand by two experienced individuals, namely Denis Ward and Arjen Lucassen. The CD ends with a haunting and uncharacteristic instrumental keyboard piece called “Reflections” that could have easily been an introductory song.
I really enjoyed this CD. I recommend it for fans of the aforementioned bands, Ten, Whitesnake, Blue Murder and, of course, Takara, Hypnotica and many more. A quick, final side note about my copy: it seems to have been assembled incorrectly at the plant. The pages were out of sequence. However, after gently removing the staples, a reorganization and a surgical re-assembly, the disc is as good as new.
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