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Silver Mountain - Breakin' Chains (CD)

Silver Mountain
Breakin' Chains
by Grigoris Chronis at 19 December 2004, 10:49 AM

Let's see who's aware of the following brothers' surname: Anders & Jens Johansson. Wow, too many hands in the air! It obviously makes sense, judging by their Hard & Heavy CV! Take a glimpse: Yngwie Malmsteen (A & J), Sonata Arctica (J), Billionaires Boys Club (A), Roland Grapow (J), Snake Charmer (A & J), Dio (J), Tony McAlpine (J), Stratovarius (A & J), Mastermind (J), Hammerfall (J)… Phew! The list goes that long… But where did it all begin for these multi-talented musicians? To find out, we have to travel back to the late 70s in Sweden to meet (and give endless credit to) a guy named…
Jonas Ηansson: A passionate Swedish vocalist/guitarist, formed Silver Mountain in 1978 with compatriot Per Stadin, initially focusing on instrumental compositions of - the completely unknown by that time - neoclassical heavy tunes (remember, we 're talkin' about the late 70s!), clearly influenced by the mighty Rainbow aura. Jonas demonstrated a clearly keen-on-Blackmore style of baroque solos & melodies, transforming into a hard-as-hell riff work at faster tunes. Yet, it was not until 1982 - when the Johansson Bros joined the band (then playing in a jazz/fusion band called Slem) - that Silver Mountain started taking it more seriously (only a - monstrously rare now - 7-inch single had been released, in 1979). Thus, the track She Needs was featured in the 1982 GS Music compilation Skansk Rock. Still, it was a year later when the band's debut Shakin' Brains (1983) was released to leave everyone (fans & critics) completely astonished!
Before the deeds of Mr. Malmsteen (who was featured in session demos rehearsing with the band in that era, before even starting his solo career) Silver Mountain presented all the elements that the vast majority of fans now adore in bands from Malmsteen's Rising Force to Hammerfall and then to Stratovarius (in general, half of the Mid-Northern European bands). Baroque-ish yet still HEAVY Power Metal, with a NWOBHM sound and Jonas' harsh epic vocal style that - judging from today's turn - contributed to (if not created) what we now call Neoclassical Power Metal. There's no need to chat over the musicians' performance. It's simple: based on the Johansson Bros' skills, just judge for the other two (Jonas and Pet) who recruited them…
Unfortunately, Anders & Jens left the band in 1984, joining the newly - then - formed Yngwie Malmsteen camp. The rest of their bio is well known. As for Silver Mountain, the band released two more studio albums (clearly on a lower level than the 1983 opus; still though very good) with a live recording in between - Universe (1985), Live In Japan (1986) and Roses & Champagne (1988) - and split. Hansson worked on various projects (Jonas Hansson Band, Legacy etc) and Stadin formed Snake Charmer (with the Johansson Bros, featuring talented vocalists like Pete Sandberg or Goran Edman), also participating in the Billionaires Boys Club project along with the famous Marc Boals, Jorg Fischer (ex-Accept) and Anders Johansson. Still, many rumors were circulating regarding a reunion of the classic Silver Mountain lineup, raising certain expectations about what this magnificent quartet would come out with in the 21st century. And so it happened! The result was…
Breakin' Chains: The CD you are now holding is the ultimate tribute! Not to the band (the musicians' reputation and current successes take care of that) but to the many fans around the globe hungry for nostalgia, days when heavy metal wasn't labeled and categorized, is mentioned on the CD's inner sleeve. Indeed, this release (originally issued only in Japan in 2001, now available worldwide through Reality Entertainment) depicts what Silver Mountain stood for in the days of their glory. Without being any come-back or reunion album, Breakin' Chains features a set of re-recorded rarities (the infamous 1978 single, demo versions, session cuts etc) from the early 80s era, previously unavailable elsewhere. The band's performance is in high level and the whole scenario is smoking memories - the band's bio speaks for itself.
Recorded in Sweden, New York and Los Angeles, Breakin' Chains is proper for both the old loyal fans that memorize the unique songs Silver Mountain created 20 years ago, and the Metal fans that were never familiar with the band's legend and now have the great opportunity to clear out who contributed a lot to the definition of European Metal. The Men On The Silver Mountain are still going strong…
- Highlight: The band's legend.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Prophet Of Doom  
Before The Storm  
Felo De Se  
Man Of No Present Existence  
Scarlet Pimpernel  
Maniac  
Axeman And The Virgin  
Breakin' Chains  
Rider Of The Night  
A.S.W.A.S.T  
The Butterfly  
Dance Around The Fire  
Millattack  
Lineup:
Jonas Hansson - Guitars, Vocals
Per Stadin - Bass
Jens Johansson - Keyboards
Anders Johansson - Drums
Record Label: Reality Entertainment
     


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