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Airstream - Kingdom of Isolation Award winner

Kingdom of Isolation
by Yngwieviking at 08 April 2015, 9:14 PM

Wow, AIRSTREAM is indeed a good suprise; a superb and unexpected slice of premium quality Swedish Hard Rock/Heavy AOR in the great tradition of talented bands from Scandinavia. They are very similar in the sound with the latest opus by 220 VOLT (the warmly recommended “Walking In Starlight”) packed with instantly memorable chorus and anthemic hooks, with maybe the slightest inclination to some bombastic moments (“You Had The World In Your Hands” and its “Innuendo” similarities) and maybe a more Pompous and dramatic ambiance (“Oh Mother, Oh Father”), like QUEEN meets UFO meets MAGNUM with TNT & JOURNEY flavors!

This band was formed by the ex SKY OF RAGE (a spin-off project by members of ASTRAL DOORS) vocalist/producer Staffan 'Stiff' Karlsson with Guitarist Mathias Brask, Tommy Moon on Drums and former THUNDER/GREAT KING RAT bassist, Mikael Höglund, with the focus on writing high demanding melodic pieces. Their debut was released on Metalville Records at the latest stage of March; this first studio work titled “Kingdom of Isolation” is commercially tagged by the additional contributions on lead guitars by the finest players from the country, namely the other Iconic Guitar hero from Sweden, the one and only Mr. Kee Marcello (ex EUROPE/EASY ACTION) and the underrated, but very gifted, Thomas Larsson (ex GLENN HUGHES/BALTIMOORE/SKY HIGH/YEAH BOP STATION)…Each and every soloist intervention is obviously jubilant, another asset in the AIRSTREAM winning game!

Mister Karlsson is a classy singer with great range and some impressive vocal power. On this album, he made a much stronger impression than in the 2012’s debut self-titled album by SKY OF RAGE, showing some serious stylistic versatility ("Addicted") and some surprising yet charming gimmicks (the darkest “Kingdom of Isolation” like DIO meets GRAND ILLUSION) with also a touching and subtle melodic method (the opening cut “The Power Of Music”).

The name and the cheap artwork looks like a second rate AOR band, with the aim to sound like a poor TOTO clone. In fact, the spirit of AIRSTREAM is much more adventurous and the musical qualities are numerous, and if the famous Swedish formula is in constant evolution, the band shows some interesting diversity from 80’s Hair Metal ("We Don't Look Back" and of course “Hold On To What We've Got”) to contemporary Melodic Metal (“Lost In Fears” or ”House of Pain”) and however keeping somekind of unity!

I think that “Kingdom of Isolation” by AIRSTREAM could be responsible for some amazement in some restricted circles of AOR experts, but if it won’t change the whole overcrowded market ,it should be remembered as a damn solid debut. AIRSTREAM is a band that has plenty to offer and I believe that this album will stand the test of time.

4 Star Rating

1. The Power Of Music
2. You Had The World In Your Hands
3. Hold On To What We've Got
4. Oh Mother Oh Father
5. We Don't Look Back
6. Addicted
7. Kingdom Of Isolation
8. Lost In Fears
9. House Of Pain
Mathias Brask - Guitar
Mikael Höglund - Bass
Staffan Karlsson - Lead Vocals
Tommy Moon - Drums
Record Label: Metalville Records


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