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Critical Solution - Sleepwalker

Critical Solution
by Marcos "Big Daddy" Garcia at 28 March 2016, 10:51 AM

The mixing between the aggressiveness of Thrash Metal with melodies from traditional Heavy Metal is nothing new at all. It was born on the first half of the 80s, and as we are seeing a boring and disgusting revival where a great number of bands is just doing a Dolly copy from what already was done countless times before. If you can't really create something new, don't start a band, please.

But when you hear "Sleepwalker", the second album from Norwegian band CRITICAL SOLUTION, it is a good work, and besides, these guys are not cloning anyone, they need some improvements.

The band is really good, using that European insight of Thrash/Heavy Metal without trying to sound as an 80 Metal band. But their stronger musical influence, METALLICA on their classical four albums, is too clear, too evident. But we can't deny that their efforts create something good for our ears. The vocals use very good tunes, the riffs are full of energy and melodies, and the rhythmic kitchen is really heavy and has a good technical work. The only thing that becomes damaged is the originality, the need for a more personalized way on music.

Clear and heavy sound is what the production gave to "Sleepwalker". It is truly heavy and aggressive, as their music demands, but clear enough for the melodies appear without problems. So we can say that their sound quality is pretty good. Not perfect, but very good. And there are some really good guests here: Mika Lagreen from GRAVE on "LT. Eliot", and Michael Denner and Hank Shermann (of course you all know MERCYFUL FATE and DENNER/SHERMANN guitar duo).

Some songs on the album are pretty fine, if you can leave the criticism aside (of course you must. You're a Metal fan, aren't you?). I name as their best songs "Sleepwalker" (a intense and aggressive song, but with a melodic chorus. And interesting guitar riffs), the fast tempos presented by the energetic "Welcome to Your Nightmare" (very good drums, indeed), the good and technical "Murder in the Night", the hooking and aggressive "Evidence of Things Unseen", the fast and truly mind blowing "LT.Eliot" (with some tempos slow and sinister), the abrasive "The Death Lament", and the good work of the whole band on "Back from the Grave" (these guitars are very good on solos, but with Michael Denner and Hank Shermann doing them, it's not something strange).

They are good, indeed, but the band needs to put their talent on music, their hearts.

Originality: 5
Songwriting: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. The Curse
2. Sleepwalker
3. Welcome to Your Nightmare
4. Blood Stained Hands
5. Murder in the Night
6. Evidence of Things Unseen
7. LT.Eliot
8. Dear Mother
9. The Death Lament
10. Back from the Grave
Christer Slettebø - Vocals, Lead Guitar
Bjørnar Grøsfjell - Guitars
Eimund Grøsfjell - Bass Guitar
Egil Mydland - Drums
Record Label: Punishment 18 Records


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