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Astrakhan - Retrospective

by YngwieViking at 04 November 2013, 3:45 PM

Per Schelander is well known for his bass playing contributions with HOUSE OF SHAKIRA/PAIN OF SALVATION and ROYAL HUNT , with his brother Jörgen, who is a keyboardist, he formed a musical project that became a real band with the complementary recruitment of Martin Larsson on drums and Alex Lycke (ex-STONE FREE / ex-VICIOUS TONGUE) on vocals, the two brothers share the same passion for challenging songwriting and 70’s flavored Rock in the smartest way enhanced with a good dose of Progressive ingredients. To complete the ASTRAKHAN canvas, the last winning move was to add Marcus Jidell (guitarist for EVERGREY / ex-ROYAL HUNT / ex-THE RING and former JEKYLL & HYDE), the virtuoso who has taken good care of lead guitars but also the full studio duties for the album “Retrospective” as mixing engineer and producer.

The Sound of the band is thick, heavy but not only, melodic, subtle and vintage… Yes, vintage but not on the gimmick side, clearly positioned on the songwriting quality more than anything else, no cheese, no cheap clichés, no nostalgic homage or tribute to the past, the style is somewhere between ballsy Progressive Rock, Hard Rock and dark Heavy Rock, with a strong freshness and finally quite difficult to tag in a preconceived hole of style.

The lead guitars spots are amazing (“Higher Ground”) but with such extraordinary player as Marcus Jidell it seems to be an obvious statement (his first instrumental solo release “Picture From A Time Traveller” is hugely recommended-the full review is available somewhere at Metal Temple), however the real personal triumph award of “Retrospective” is to be attributed to Singer Alex Lycke who provides a world class performance, “Modern Original Sin” or “NoName Lane” are good examples of his rich tonality and his great polyvalence, it’s clearly the most stand out element and the asset of the whole album.

After the superb and highly promising release of “The Sound Of Breaking Free” by Finland’s very own THE RAGGED SAINTS, the German label Power Prog is about to demonstrated to the whole world full of skeptical unbelievers that clever melodic Hard Rock in its purest line is still alive and well in 2013. 

4 Star Rating

1. Under The Sun Part 1
2. Shadow Of The Light
3. Propaganda
4. Higher Ground
5. NoName Lane
6. Extreme Media Makeover
7. Long Gone Generation
8. Modern Original Sin
9. State Of Mind
10. Under The Sun Part 2
Alex Lycke - Lead Vocals
Per Schelander - Bass
Jörgen Schelander - Keyboards
Martin Larsson – Drums
Marcus Jidell - Guitars
Record Label: Power Prog


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