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Rian - Twenty-Three

by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 20 October 2021, 1:33 PM

As usual, to think about the golden age of Glam Metal is to have in mind that the genre grew and evolved into a massive commercial success in the USA from 1983 to 1991, eight years of ‘up all night, sleep all day’ times. But as everyone knows, no trend can last forever, and the genre almost disappeared. But it came back in the beginning of the 2000’s on Europe, and earned a lot of attention once more. And to hear “Twenty-Three”, the first album from the Swedish quartet RIAN is to allow the mind to go back in time (at least, for those who lived those unforgettable days).

They’re in a way that will bring back to mind what BON JOVI, JOURNEY, SURVIVOR, WINGER and some other bands that used AOR and Rock Arena elements on Hard/Glam Metal ways (besides in some moment they use a set of heavy guitar riffs). It means that their musical work is based on very good keyboards parts that create melodic and catchy ambiences, but pay attention to excellent works of bass guitar, drums, guitars and vocals as well. The final result: a very good set of songs filled with excellent melodies, catchy choruses and a great and fresh energy. Yes, their musical work is really very good. The sonority of “Twenty-Three” is very good, fitting on the model used by bands of the same genre today: the wise use of modern recording technologies to shape the music of the past. And everything can be understood without problems or great efforts.

The abrasive and heavy approach on the melodies during “Stop” (with excellent and aggressive guitar riffs), the melodic and accessible Hard/AOR approach used on “In the Dark” (what lovely vocals and chorus), the contrasts between clean parts and heavier moments of “Twenty-Three (the brutal weighty work of bass guitar and drums under the melodies is very good, remind something heard from KISS unmasked era) and “We Belong”, the sharp and catchy harmonies of “Body and Soul” (a typical Glam/AOR song of the 80’s due the wise use of keyboards and backing vocals), and the accessible outfit of “Stranger to Me” (what heavy work on the guitars) are the best ones to begin with, but this album is really very good.

Of course, RIAN still have a way to go and can do music even better than shown by now, and they’re just beginning. But “Twenty-Three” allows the band to think to conquer more and more in the future.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Stop
2. In the Dark
3. Where Do We Run
4. Twenty-Three
5. For Your Heart
6. We Belong
7. My Ocean
8. Body and Soul
9. The Passenger
10. Stranger to Me
11. Your Beauty
Richard Andermyr - Vocals, Guitar
Tobias Jakobsson - Lead Guitar
Jonas Melin - Bass
Jan Johansson - Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Music


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