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Osukaru - House of Mirrors

House of Mirrors
by Martin "Doomed" Desbois at 24 October 2018, 8:19 AM

When I read the name of this band I was like…OK, another Asian Prog or Hard Rock Glam something or other. Well, first, they are not from Asia, but from Sweden…quite a huge difference! The covert art looks like some KITARO new record a little. But what we are offered here is Hard Rock. Formed in 2009, they are back now with their latest creation, "House of Mirrors."  We have eleven songs for a total of 40 minutes. The first track, "Past the Present" is an intro with synths and keyboards to let us slip to track two, "You've been Waiting." The song has a great rhythm. The vocal harmonies are excellent and the lead vocals are nicely done too. The guitars are a mix of 80's Hard Rock and modern patterns spiced up with moving solos. This one as won the first place for my weekly personal "earworm" contest.

"Ritual" reminds me a lot of DOKKEN…the song "Dream Warriors" from "A Nightmare on Elm Street" soundtrack. Great guitar ambiance. Even if its sounds really from the past, they offer modern glitches that makes it cooler. "Ain't too Late for Love" is very interesting for its structure and solos. These Swedish guys knows how to rock, and also they’re great at drawing a fine line between good Hard Rock and cheesy Hard Rock, and they stay on the right side. The drums sounded a little too much synthetic at times. "X Marks the spot" grooves it out while doing the romance at the same time. It sounds like WARRANT for me. This one moves a lot and shows great performance. "Until Forever Ends" is a power ballad. The production is great and the vocal rendition interesting. It shows great versatility. It could be a FATES WARNING ballad if it was a little more Progressive. Here we stay in safe ground and offer a strong power ballad with all that's needed and even more. A little QUEEN influence maybe?

"All Guns Blazing" explores a little metal riff and chords to gives this Hard Rock song more punch and guts. It’s a flashback to the 80's, reminiscent of RATT and groups in this decade. "Macgyver IT" is offering great rock .This band could tour with Canada's TRIUMPH or APRIL WINE. It’s nothing new or original though, just plain good Hard Rock, with a nice guitar solo rendering. The vocal harmonies are adding much vibe to the song, and lead vocals are doing the job. "Red Heat" has some great organ and it’s a little more original. I feel a DEF LEPPARD influence here. There are great riffs are used in the last part of the song. This is effective rock. "Inception" oh an original thing here, with saxophone in the background in the first minute. The keyboards and female vocals adds to the experience here. The bass guitar is well heard here and it’s a pleasure. The bass was not greatly represented till now. The sax isn't only in the start of the song, we have a nice sax solo too and it adds pretty much to the song. It was nice gamble that worked for me.

"Felicity Drive" has a very optimistic feel. The piano leads the way to guitars and teams up with them after with synth effects. The vocals are more in the mid range and it makes a great change or variation. It makes me think of Mr. Sammy Haggar with a more high level voice. In the middle of the song, there's a instrumental break to let us reach lead guitar with emotional filled intermission. What could be more 80's than to finish it with a fade-out on vocal harmonies to let the listener descend from his travels and get on his feet again.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Past the Present
2. You've Been Waiting
3. Ritual
4. Ain't Too Late (For Love)
5. X Marks the Spot
6. Until Forever Ends
7. All Guns Blazing
8. MacGyver It
9. Red Heat
10. Inception
11. Felicity Drive
Oz Osukaru - Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Fredrik Werner - Guitar, Lead Vocals
Olof Gadd - Bass, Backing Vocals
Vidar Mårtensson - Drums & Percussion
Record Label: City Of Light Records


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