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Backhill - Shadow Man

Backhill
Shadow Man
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 15 May 2015, 2:37 PM

That is the beauty of solo albums, a fraction of a band wishing to experience itself alone, to let out deliberations, thoughts, ideas that could have never be set free within the organic group. A bit philosophical, but why not from time to time? Down to business, assumingly after a bit of soul searching, the ex-CELESTY / MASQUERAGE vocalist Kimmo Perämäki unleashed a debut album of his own making, along with the assistance of drummer Marko Ylä-Häkkinen. Under the moniker of BACKHILL, Perämäki shared his influences and newly forged ideas of the colorful late 70’s and 80’s featuring of Heavy Metal, Hard Rock and AOR inspirations. The new album “Shadow Man”, via Stormspell Records, is Perämäki’s debut for a developed foundation, which I have the feeling that won’t fade away easily any time soon.

I believe that the chief aspect of this record, which needs to be highly appreciated (well I did of course), is its diversity. “Shadow Man” is a collection of songs that almost each of them provides a different point of view of what Perämäki was thinking or aspired to accomplish other than keeping it consistent with a singular directive. It is more than possible that any follower of the melodic edges of Rock and Metal would find himself falling in the bliss that the album offers. The material is melodic, immensely harmonic particularly the British Metal inspired guitaring, almost of the old IRON MAIDEN or even MERCYFUL FATE vintage of the early 80’s, arousing, emotive and quite catchy as it created its impressive powerful hits. Perämäki, in charge of the nearly all the instruments other than the drums, showcased magnificent guitar skills, composing classic riffery and heating up with distinguished soloing. Moreover, the touch of the keyboards, some reflecting the dramatic incense of creamy AOR power balladry, did magic for the tunes.

In overall, BACKHILL is Perämäki’s way to go with the flow of a direction that gathered around a lot of listeners of various worlds of traditional Metal. Some might recognize it as a safer pattern to follow. On the other hand, his vision didn’t sound cheeky or cheap, I could actually feel the honesty within the tunes. “Shadow Man” made my day right from the start, such powerful riffery, enticing 80’s flavored chorus and also it was so fitting for the artwork presented, of a house that made think about KING DIAMOND’s song “A Mansion In Darkness” or at least something spitted out of the album “Them”. “Living In A Lie”, the one of the two album’s balladries, exhibited the grace that Perämäki shares, while also attributing to his amazing vocal range while not being just your average high pitcher. “For The White Flag”, a slow tempo vintage kind of a melodic Hard Rocker, led me to a bit of crispy DEEP PURPLE with a little Blues WHITESNAKE drenched in AOR. “She Said” burst with a treading in a bit of old MOTORHEAD land clasping a tremendous 70’s vibe that sounded so cool, show a glimpse of Perämäki strong raspy tone but ending up as a powerful classic oriented.

I am positive that by exploring this album further, after a few listens, you would find yourself in there and you would come back to it time and time again. Be sure not to miss it in Stormspell Records.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Shadow Man
2. She Said
3. Rich Inside
4. Jaakko And The Beanstalk (Instrumental)
5. Morning Sun
6. For The White Flag
7. Living In A Lie
8. On Burned Ground
9. Time Won't Wait Your Crying
10. Little Lighthouse
Lineup:
Kimmo Perämäki – Guitars / Vocals / Keyboards / Bass
Marko Ylä-Häkkinen - Drums
Record Label: Stormspell Records
     


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