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Meduza - Upon The World (CD)

Upon The World
by Eleni Mouratoglou at 02 April 2004, 12:53 AM

Before commenting this album let's go back to 2000 for a while. It was then when the guitarist Stefan Berg together with Jonas Edstrom on bass and Ola Gronlund on drums formed Meduza.
They came up with a demo called Now and forever and a year later, with a Danish metal agency's support, they recorded a studio demo with Kristian Andren, vocalist of Street Talk and Memento Mori.
That 2001 demo also named Now and forever was followed by a full-length album of the same title. Unlike the title the group's structure changed again. The response from record labels worldwide made it clear that Meduza could no more confine themselves to a session vocalist. Apollo Papathanasiu of Majestic took Andren's place and the debut album went out in 2002. What we should note is that the well known guitarist and producer Mike Wead (Mercyful Fate, King Diamond, Memento Mori) was in charge of recordings and the production in general.
Meduza is supposed to be a neo-classical heavy metal group. At least that's how they characterize themselves. After listening to their second, still unreleased album, Upon The World I hesitate to adopt this term. I'll explain myself.
Neo-classical brought genres like progressive metal and symphonic metal to my mind. And it really reminded me of Royal Hunt, Edguy and Conception at some times when I put it in the CD player. But although some aspects fitted, others confused me.
Apollo's vocals are powerhouse and flawless but not crystal clear. Ola's drums sound fast and technical but they don't take off. Stefan's guitar convinces the listener that he is an awesome musician but it feels heavy. Jonas' bass matches others' performance leaving no place for complains. Joakim's keyboards are more atmospheric and less frantic than I expected.
This album doesn't have the illustrated perfection of the works of the groups I mentioned. Meduza play mid-tempo Dark-power metal. They don't try to impress us or exhibit their competence. They present simple melodies and aim to the heart rather than the ear. They prefer being pessimistic rather than reach out for the light. Tobias Sammet(Edguy) once said that since the world is full of problems music should not point at them but finger towards a brighter reality. Medusa through Upon The World chose to stay on earth. And I don't know whether they intended to be original… I feel they managed to be unique.
Design for life, Dream on, Divina comedia and Face of a demon are the songs I liked the most.

3 Star Rating

Design For Life
The Vision
Dream On
Divina Comedia
Face Of A Demon
Upon The World
Can You Tell
Stefan Berg - Guitars
Apollo Papathanasio - Vocals
Jonas Edstrom - Bass
Ola Gronlund - Drums
Joakin Floke - Keyboards
Record Label: Massacre Records


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