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Optimystical - Distant Encounters (CD)

Distant Encounters
by Grigoris Chronis at 31 August 2009, 6:06 PM

This was the third in a row promo CD arriving from Avenue Of Allies Music at the mag's headquarters; and proved to be the most exciting one. OPTIMYSTICAL (the brainchild of Robin Vagh, a multi-talented musician) is a weird name for a band performing melodic Hard Rock but who cares anyway, as long as the music's good? Here's the deal…
Sweden - that's old news by now -rocks hard the last years. I think this country always had this high level but back then there was no Net around plus the mass Media enjoyed the comfort of British/German/American exports mostly. It's no harm to wonder how many bands from the Scandinavian part of Europe did make some kind of a name a decade or more after their formation. Thankfully, OPTIMYSTICAL is a brand new band(?) and delivers an excellent doze of melodic Hard Rock mostly based on th German/Scandinavian standards feeding the fans the last 20+ years. The cover artwork prepared my for something more 'progressive' or 'neoclassical' but things took their turn as soon as the 'play' button was pushed.
OPTIMYSTICAL as not 'simply AOR' as you'd imagine; they have tons of melodies in their songs plus the vocals of Ronnie Hangstedt (primarily) and Jonas Blum are velvet and emotional but it'd be a let down to stay just to this couple of facts. The rhythm section is pounding - even if that's not widely shown due to the controversial bass/drums mix - and in many songs the guitars spit fire; imagine of a general mix of PRETTY MAIDS, BONFIRE, TEN, GLORY and TREAT along with the AOR piece of WORK OF ART. Hmmm, the band does not measure up to the monsters mentioned below but I think that's a good reference to put you in the picture.
Melodic Metal is also present here, so as to say. The band does not fear flirting with more pounding rhythms and - truth is - the songwriting is diverse enough not only in terms of horsepower but also era influence. OPTIMYSTICAL's reference point seems to be the color of the melodies inside a song and not the couple or chorus commercial value that much. Can recall COLDSPELL's Infinite Stargaze waking up relevant emotions the last year.
Distant Encounters is the kind of album you like being around, digging its music or not. It has class, it shows dignity in songwriting, it's full of melodic moments for the relative base and - most of all? - seems to be based on neat motives and clean intentions (read the history here).

3 Star Rating

Sunburst In The Midnight
Startide Rising
Face In The Window
Lost Horizon
In Our World
The Unexpected
The Storm
I Go Blind
Record Label: Avenue Of Allies Music


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