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Tomorrow's Outlook - A Voice Unheard

Tomorrow's Outlook
A Voice Unheard
by Chris Hawkins at 03 June 2018, 6:32 AM

While most people, Metal fans anyway, think of Black Metal when thinking of Norway, the country has actually offered some quite diverse alternatives as of late.  When first hearing TOMORROW'S OUTLOOK, one may guess Germany or England to be their home, but yes, they are another example of Norway's other type of Heavy Metal export.  The band formed in 2007 and for being a three-piece, they make a lot of noise.  It is good, melodic, and classic Metal noise, though, the type that edges itself into one's brain long after listening to.  A Voice Unheard is their second full-length, out now on Battlegod Productions.

Some may be put off or find it odd within the first twenty-four seconds of the album when the song "Within the World of Dreams" begins for it opens with the unusual pairing of acoustic and bass guitar.  Listening to the album in its entirety gives perspective, and this pairing does not sound as odd as an opener.  The song soon opens up into a classic Metal format with high energy conjuring IRON MAIDEN and HELLOWEEN.  "Through Shuttered Eyes" is the third track and is built upon a very MAIDEN-like riff with intricate guitar harmonies that are both melodic and gorgeous.  The singing is powerful and the bass is very up front with many unique ideas.  The fourth track is the title track and is a fast tempo offering with some excellent examples of falsettos and other screams that are both catchy and infectious.  The bass plays just as important a role as the guitar which is another positive trait for the band.  "Outlaw," the fifth track, features some of the highest octave vocals this side of KING DIAMOND and MANOWAR's "Kingdom Come".  The seventh track, "The Enemy," is a ballad with an extremely appealing vocal line in the chorus.  The song is built of all of the classic parts that build great power ballads:  acoustic guitar, well-written melodies/harmonies, and a very memorable chorus.  The fast part played during the solo dazzles with extremely well-executed, lightning-fast double picking to impress even KAI HANSEN and JAKE E. LEE.

All bands really are at the end of the day are sums of their parts.  TOMORROW'S OUTLOOK, however, has much success despite being only three members.  The vocalist, in addition to the outstanding operatic vocals detailed above, has a sound that resembles a cross between ROB HALFORD and MICHAEL KISKE.  Evidently the main songwriter is the bassist, and despite crafting an album's worth of memorable and well-conceived songs, contributes a plethora of alluring bass lines.  His tone is simple, yet stands out clear, bright, and well-rounded.  The guitar playing is above and beyond capable utilizing some true fretboard gymnastics.  The tone is ideal for this form of classic Metal, and he is gifted with the knack for cleverly-placed pinch harmonics, a tasteful use of effects, and the foreknowledge of when to dial back the gain.  The solos are nothing short of face-melting and makes one wonder if he goes outside at all to enjoy his share of Norway's six months of sunlight.

TOMORROW'S OUTLOOK have a very marketable sound that will appeal to a very broad range of Metal fans.  If asked to classify them, one would have to say they are Power Metal in the sense that IRON MAIDEN is Power Metal and do not resemble other bands of that subgenre like RHAPSODY or SYMPHONY X.  At the end of the day, though, it's just very well-written, instrumentally-challenging Heavy Metal.

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

 

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Within the World of Dreams
2. Descent
3. Through Shuttered Eyes
4. A Voice Unheard
5. Outlaw
6. Times of War
7. The Enemy
8. One Final Prayer
9. Fly Away
10.  Nothing Shall Remain
11.  Darkside of Aquarius (Bruce Dickinson cover)
12.  Slave to the Evil Force (Aria cover)
Lineup:
Oystein K. Hanssen – Lead Guitar
Tony "Thunder" Johannssen – Lead Vocals
Andreas Stenseth – Bass
Record Label: Battlegod Productions
     


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Edited 17 August 2018
 

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