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Anton Johansson's Nevertold Stories - Anton Johansson's Nevertold Stories

Anton Johansson's Nevertold Stories
Anton Johansson's Nevertold Stories
by Kevin Lewis at 14 February 2022, 3:58 PM

Anton Johansson's Nevertold Stories” is the second solo release for ANTON JOHANSSON, a Swedish composer and musician who has been writing and recording music for four decades. Covering everything from hard rock to symphonic metal, this is a bold collection of songs spanning much of his career. The band features numerous guest appearances by excellent guitarists and keyboard players, giving the record a diverse feel of tones. “Nevertold Stories” released on November 21, 2021, via Lion Music Group.

The record kicks off with a keyboard heavy song called “Roll Into The Night.” The guitars take on a significant role throughout, but the keys are the star for the most part, until you hit the solo, performed by Vanya Merc. That shift into the solo section is really well done and the solo is a beautiful transition from melodic to shredding.

This is not a concept album but does feel a bit like it has a theme. That may just be because all these songs that have been working in the back on the brain are being culled together at the same time. The tones and tempos of the songs are pretty variable. “Feels Like Dying”, “Suckered” and “Low Level Love” are heavier, followed by a softer, brighter “Miscellaneous Tune.” This last tune has a bit of a DEEP PURPLE feel to the keyboards.

Light In Your Darkest Night” is definitely a softer song that is meant to create a longing for something lost. This is more like a classic 80s power ballad than most of the tracks. It is well done and notable mostly because the tones are clean and clear. Even when the tempo increases a bit, building towards the guitar solo, it stays true to form and only steps up as far as needed to support the solo.

My favorite guitar riff on the record is in “Broken Wings,” a mid-tempo rocker that goes a little heavier than some of the songs but is not too heavy to fit on this album. The guitar work is really good on this track and the vocals are smooth as silk. After a quick bass lick, the guitar solo comes in and just caresses the senses. Robert Ahrling does an excellent job fitting the solo into the tempo and tone of the song, never going to far afield to create dissonance.

For a complete change, we get “Lillebror.” This is two minutes of melancholy piano. Nothing more. It is dark and haunting, yet quite beautiful. When listening to this record, take a moment to just stop whatever else you are doing and enjoy this. Let your mind be at peace for a minute.

The next three songs are quite guitar driven. A bit heavier, but not too heavy. The riffs and rhythms chug along, driving towards the wrap of the new part of the record. “Forgotten” is a softer song, though the tone is actually one of the darker on the record. The lyrics and the tones are haunted and almost desperate in their longing to connect. This is my favorite song on the record. I can’t even fully describe why; I just know it really draws me in. I relate to the lyrics and just really dig the groove of the entire song.

The rest of the tracks are bonus material. There’s a demo, a live track and two songs from a previous band, MISTER KITE. These just add to the overall effect of the record and are pretty cool tracks in their own right.

This is a good record. The songs are coherent and mesh together well. The whole album, even though not a concept record, feels like they belong on the same record. As a collection of songs that have been waiting for the right time to emerge, they work well together, despite the fact some took up to forty years to be finalized.

Songwriting:  8
Musicianship:  9
Memorability:  7
Production:  8

4 Star Rating

1. Roll into The Night
2. Feels Like Dying
3. Suckered
4. Low Level Love
5. Miscellaneous Tune
6. Light in Your Darkest Night
7. End of A Friend
8. Broken Wings
9. Casanova Breakdown
10. Going Up
11. Lillebror
12. I Hear You Laughing
13. F.R.O.
14. Egypt
15. Forgotten
16. Don't Let Me Fade (Demo 2007)
17. Mister Kite (Rehearsal Tomfoolery)
Bonus Tracks:
18. Mister Kite / Evil Bob (Acoustic 2013)
19. Light in Your Darkest Night (Live 2019)
Alf Wemmenlind – Vocals
Linus Abrahamson – Guitar/Bass/Keyboards
Joakim Strandberg Nilsson – Drums
Erik Källner – Keyboards
Record Label: Lion Music Group


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