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Book Of Reflections - Book Of Reflections (CD)

Book Of Reflections
Book Of Reflections
by Thodoris Pantazopoulos at 15 December 2004, 7:22 PM

Is this Lion Music's new all-star project? Hmm…let me take a look 'cause I have a feeling that this might be interesting. Familiar faces in the booklet, the shredder Lars Eric Mattson, the once Lions Share vocalist Andy Engberg and the omnipresent virtuoso Vitalij Kuprij (Artension, Ring Of Fire, solo) among others. Their label's known obsession with solo works of famous guitar players and each member's musical hypostasis, are more than a clue for what's inside Book Of Reflections. Let's get deeper.
Neoclassical, pompous progressive/power Metal, acoustically very close to bands like Royal Hunt, Artension, Ayreon and Ring Of Fire. As someone would normally expect, this album is totally based in keyboard and guitar orgies. The participants, known for their undoubted technical and performing skills, literally burst onto their instruments and develop frenzied speed on the fingerboards. Solos, solos and what else? Solos! Uhm ok, Lars Eric Mattsson has obviously written down some catchy refrains and songs like the opener, Guardian Of Time and Child Of The Rainbow might have a more solid and safe structure but I believe that the album is rather a demonstration of technical dexterity. I'm not against the display of musical skills as long as an artist can combine it with aesthetic and essence. Take for example the Liquid Tension Experiment's works, which are exclusively instrumental and include tremendous solos inside, but funnily enough they don't tire at all. Though far more lengthy than the compositions within the Book Of Reflections they don't even have one single boring or wasteful moment. Unfortunately this album has many of those and I can't really understand why such experienced and charismatic musicians have come up with something that mediocre. Besides, they didn't move far from their acoustic standards; they really mastered that kind of sound and even the most ignorant fan of the genre is aware of those gentlemen names' heaviness.
Another thing that really annoyed me is the, least to say, bad-taste production. I just don't know how to say this but the sound is kinda plastic; there isn't one thing that after a few times will make you remember  this band because of it. It all seems so standard, so cliche without an ounce of personality.   
I'm afraid that the saying a good performer isn't necessary a good composer matches this situation. Of course there are tracks that will grab your interest and make you sing along their refrains, but in general this is a disappointing effort. This album could be encouraging for a beginner band, but surely not enough for musicians of such range.
P.S. No musical comparison is being done between this album and the LTE ones. My intention was to contrast the different use of technique, which in one occasion is just blabby and in the other it works harmonically and supportively for melody's sake.
- Album's Highlights: Phoenix, Guardian Of Time and Child Of The Rainbow.

3 Star Rating

Guardian Of Time
Going Through The Motions
Tearing Down
Slippin' Away
Only One Truth
Child Of The Rainbow
You Are Not Alone
Book Of Reflections
Let It Go
Blood From A Stone (European Exclusive Bonus Track)
Vocals: Andy Engberg, Mikael Holm, Hubi Meisel, Torgny Stjarnfelt
Additional Vocals: Torgny Stjarnfelt, Mikaela Mattsson

Vitalij Kuprij - Keyboard Solos
Rusty Cooley - Guitars
Lars Eric Mattsson - Guitars, Bass, & Keyboards
Eddie Sledgehammer - Drums
Record Label: Lion Music


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