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Jan Åkesson’s Shadow Rain - Ascension Award winner

Jan Åkesson’s Shadow Rain
Ascension
by Marcos "Big Daddy" Garcia at 17 November 2017, 11:52 AM

From time to time, in my personal meditations about the musical world, I always think that Melodic Rock/Hard Rock will never die. These thoughts have one reason: unlike many old school musical genres, Melodic Rock, Hard Rock and their subgenres never get outdated, never loses their grasp and energy, and always sounds fresh and new as in the 70s and 80s. In the hands of guys that known what they are doing, as Jan Åkesson, we can expect great works. So to find an amazing work on “Ascension”, the first work from his band JAN ÅKESSON’S SHADOW RAIN, isn’t an unexpected fact.

The band presents the old and good mix between Classic Melodic Rock with some Glam Metal and Hard Rock influences is presented here in a very personal form, but be aware that it is truly heavy and aggressive. Yes, the album shows a musical identity, along with excellent melodies, very good choruses, and a great musical aesthetics that fills each song. But be sure of one thing: Jan knows how to play heavy in many moments as well, so “Ascension” is really a great album. Recorded at Ump Unlimited Music Production, with Jan taking care of the album’s production, mixing and mastering, we have a good sound quality. It could be better, because it’s not as clear as the band’s songs deserve. It sounds a bit rawer than the needed, but not to the point of mess with the final result. As a first album it is good, but hope the next album can have a better sonority.

But if the sound quality is not as good as it could be, the songs are amazing. It’s truly hard to point to one or another to choose the album’s best songs. There aren’t best songs! But to calm down my Editor-In-Chief, I’ll chose some as mere reference for the readers. The heavy weight and melodies from “I Can’t Tell You No” and “The Promised Land” (both showing the mix between introspective parts with aggressive ones always is a very good way, and what a lovey chorus), the nasty and melodic “City of Light” (what aggressive guitar riffs!), the excellent melodic lines and rhythmic work shown on “Sound of a Broken Heart” and “After the Love is Gone”, the jigsaw cutting edge of the guitars on “Love on the Run”… Oh, who I am trying to deceive? Listen to the entire album, don’t be lazy! Become in love with JAN ÅKESSON’S SHADOW RAIN!

Originality: 9
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. I Can’t Tell You No
2. The Promised Land
3. City of Light
4. Into the Fire
5. Sound of a Broken Heart
6. A Sound for Death
7. After the Love is Gone
8. Cross the Universe
9. Love on the Run
10. Fool for Your Loving 
Lineup:
Jan Åkesson - Vocals, Guitars, Backing Vocals
Sven Svantesson - Lead Guitars
Lasse Johansson - Bass
Jens Westberg - Drums 
Record Label: Melodic Rock Records
     


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