Latest updates:

We hope you enjoy your visit here. Please join or login if you have joined before.

MT @ Facebook





Not logged in

Users online

Zaidpc, 59 guests

Welcome to our newest member, Zaidpc

Lars Eric Mattsson – Into The Unknown

Lars Eric Mattsson
Into The Unknown
by Sean McGuirk at 15 June 2019, 5:38 AM

Lars Eric Mattsson is a Finnish guitarist with nothing to prove, he’s appeared on more than 30 albums since 1987, collaborated with some of the best in the Melodic Rock and Prog genres, including Mark Boals, Derek Sherinian and Erik Norlander, among many others who you may have seen credited deep into the liner notes of many of your favorite Prog Metal CD’s. Having started playing guitar in the ‘60’s, he could easily rest on his laurels, but here he is keeping up with the Joneses, releasing an album that he wrote and produced, plays guitar, keyboard and even sings on.

One of the things I most enjoyed about this album, is it doesn’t fit the prototype for a guitar-based album, those sometimes overlooked/avoided works from Gods like Michael Schenker, Uli Jon Roth, Steve Vai, Joe Bonamassa, etc, records that often appeal to one extremely specific sect of fan, and not many others.  I’m not saying Mattsson’s “Into The Unknown,” put out by his own label Lion Music, has universal appeal, but I admire the fact that, while it has it’s share of shredding and emotive solos, equal time is given to the drums, keys and bass (an instrument Mattsson gleefully reconnects with here).

Mattsson’s mission, seemingly, was to produce an album of pop-oriented songs, rather than a showcase for guitar wankery.  “Killer” has a very radio-friendly vibe, and his vocals – while extremely processed with every digital tool in the book, including a very obvious auto-tune – do well in simulating, at least, a professional pop vocalist, uncanny valley side effects aside.  The lyrics are very personal, with “Hole in My Soul” being the song that truly connects on the album’s overriding themes of longing, love and obsession. There are some clever melodic guitar hooks, like a swept arpeggio main riff to “Give It All,” that informs a playful solo section.  One of the highlights, “Save Me,” has a jazzy improv feel to its rhythm, which is given some sparkle with a smattering of djembe-style drumming.  My favorite song on the album might be “This Is Your Storm,” a catchy and original melodic piece that reminds of an ‘80’s GENESIS track.

There are many short sub-one-minute interludes, that give a better look into Mattsson’s versatility. These are much needed, as the traditional songs on the album start to grow stale in their uniformity. “Too Close to the Sun” is a fun departure, as is the orchestral, “Epilogue for a Broken Heart.” In fact, as the harshly digitized vocals start to grate a bit, you wonder if it might have been a better idea for an all-instrumental album, but then again, there’s plenty of those out there – even in his own catalogue – so you can’t fault Mattsson for putting himself out there like this, in what is a very accessible, and heartfelt album from someone who could’ve easily mailed it in.

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

3 Star Rating

1. Killer
2. Give It All
3. Hole in My Soul
4. Epilogue for a Broken Heart
5. This Is Your Storm
6. Save Me
7. Time to Change
8. Into the Unknown
9. Wind of Desire
10. Too Close to the Sun
11. Burning Hot
12. Soul Mate
13. Cry of a Leo
14. Always Recall
15. '57 Chevy
Lars Eric Mattsson - Vocals, Guitars, Bass, and Keyboards.
Christer Jansson - Drums
Alexander King - Piano and Keyboard Solos
Record Label: Lion Music


You do not have permission to rate

Metal Temple © 2000-2014
Yiannis Mitsakos

Designed, Implemented and Hosted by PC Green