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Released: 2001, Spinefarm Records
A young man playing beyond his abilities…playing too many notes for his own good?? You be the judge with Janne Warmen’s second solo album, BEYOND ABILITIES. This album came out in 2001 through Finland’s Spinefarm Records but thanks to the good people at Century Media we now have the album released here in North America in 2002. For those of you out of touch, or who don’t keep up on band member names, Janne Warman is Children of Bodom’s keyboardist. The music contained on this CD however is nothing like CoB. This album is for the most part melodic power metal….an album that fans of bands like Stratovarius will love….and if you didn’t know it, I love Strato, so getting off on this album was quite easy!
The line-up for this album (besides Janne of course) is Mirka Rantanen on drums, Lauri Porra on bass (both from the band Tunnelvision), guitars are done by Janne's brother Antti Warman (Craydawn) and Sami Virtanen (Mannerheim and Joe Doakes). Some very cool guest vocalists also join Janne. The album opens with the title track, which is an instrumental. The main melody line is something that could find a home in a Stratovarius song. Janne wears his influences on his sleeve…and proudly. The second song is my favorite on the album, mostly because it’s even more Stratovarius sounding and having Strato vocalist Timo Kotipelto on vocals really tops it off. This song is in the vein of “Hunting High And Low” in that it’s mid-paced and very catchy with a keyboard theme/intro that is again something very Stratovarius-like. Timo also sings on the track “Singer’s Chance” which sounds a lot less like Strato. The track “Hidden” features one of today’s best female metal vocalists…the lovely Kimberly Goss. Again, the music on this song is suited to her vocals and is not that far off from Kim’s own band, Sinergy. Janne’s keyboard solos on this song as usual are top notch. In my opinion, he plays the leads very much with the approach of a lead guitar. I believe that is a part of why he does this, to prove that keyboards can “shred” at times too. Kimberly Goss also appears on the surprise cover “Alone” by Heart. It’s done well, but it’s a bit sappy for me and I can think of lots of 80’s songs they could of done that are better then this drivel. Another stand out track is “Dawn” which is the only track on here with unknown (for me anyway) vocalist Pasi Nykanen from Throne of Chaos. This guy’s vocals are a mixture of rich and melodic to a near hardcore bark. It’s when he actually sings that his vocals are excellent!! Why he bothers to do that hardcore barking is beyond me when he can sing so fucking good!! The music on this one is also different. It’s not melodic power metal at all but is more along the lines of 70’s sounding prog / hard rock in places, providing a refreshing change of pace on the album.
The bottom line for Warmen is, if you never liked melodic power metal bands like Stratovarius, Sonata Arctica or virtuoso playing then you will not be into Warmen. However, as a long time fan of Yngwie Malmsteen and of more recent bands like Stratovarius, this is great stuff!
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