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Trancemission - Naked Flames

Naked Flames
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 08 October 2012, 1:38 PM

Lost in transmission or lost in tracemission or plainly lost in trance? You decide. After listening to this particular new album by the Hard Rock German band TRANCEMISSION, once used to be called TRANCE back in their glorious 80s period and early to mid 90s, I was mainly lost and far from being in a state of trance, even though I wished it. “Naked Flames”, released via Pure Rock Records, is the TRANCEMISSION’s comeback album after seven years since the previous album named “Mine”. Unlike the 80s where I remembered TRANCEMISSION being relatively heavier in their music displaying likes of smashing Hard Rock meets a slight ACCEPT Heavy Metal vibe (Not the Teutonic Terror stuff or similar of course), this newfound ride was tender while shifting its stature towards the AOR direction rather than the traditional Metal path. It didn’t make me sad or anything, although their past 80s era created a rather fine selection of tracks from fine albums such as “Victory”, “Power Illusion” and “Rockers”, but it also showed me that TRANCEMISSION probably won’t regain the same status as prime Hard Rockers as they once were, especially with this new “Naked Flames”.

For one thing, at least the old sound is still there sending signals of better times and a completely different music scene surrounding it. Furthermore, on “Naked Flames”, I could also feel that late 70s vibe through its sound. Nevertheless, the music itself also contributed to that notion as well. Yet, and I am being honest about it, it was hard for me to like the material displayed here. Here and there I noticed a few reminders of that old band that once rocked and thrilled with class, but that old figure shares only a few memories with this album. One of my top, and probably my chief disappointments were from the band’s constant vocalist, Lothar Antoni. I know that age and other things probably have to do with it, but it seemed to me that Antoni almost completely lost his voice, mainly his mid high notes, as he still possess a charming mid low tones. After taking its tall in the early days, his voice sounded as if it has been on the verge of dimming slowly. Throughout the songs it seemed to me that he was struggling to let out a decent and clear high note. He has never sounded so Bluesy like Joe Cocker or grimy like Udo Dirkschneider or Brian Johnson, but “Naked Flames” made me think differently but not in a positive sort of way. In addition to Antoni’s of what seemed to me like a fading voice, there was the music. Well I didn’t expect too much here. TRANCEMISSION lost a bit of their past energies. They didn’t create such attractive Rockers on this album, in particular with too stretched intro and outros. Most of the songs were mid paced, mainly two or three riff based with adequate and rocky lead guitar work channeling a portion of the classic vibe but not the thrill I am afraid. Even with a song with such a title as “Sex Me Up”, TRANCEMISSION preferred on taking it slow and easy rather than a tad fast and frenzy. In the bottom line, the trance that should be inflicted made me more sleepy and bored other than excited and dazed.

“Susi ‘n’ Mape”, “Jenny and the Beast“ and “Not Me” played their part to be the album’s prime efforts. Though they harbored the same gloomy sensations only with love’s gentleness and drama, at least they rocked a little bit more and displayed some level of attraction. TRANCEMISSION might be back, but this is not what I would expect from such a veteran band that knows how to create hits. Maybe next time around.

3 Star Rating

1. Naked Flames (Pt.1)
2. Thorn Birds
3. Not Me
4. Sex Me Up
5. You
6. House of Love
7. Thanks God I’m A Fool
8. Jenny and the Beast
9. Susi ‘n’ Mape
10. Naked Flames (Pt. 2) 
Lothar Antoni – Vocals, Guitar
Andreas Meyer – Guitar
Joe. J. Hagl – Bass
Alexander Franken - Drums
Record Label: Pure Rock Records


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