Lars Eric Mattson - 'Sand And Blood'

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 08, 2018    
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Will appeal to those that appreciate virtuoso guitar playing with interesting arrangements that are a bit different.

'Sand And Blood' is the latest release from all-round Finnish musical maestro Lars Eric Mattson. This is his first full electric release in four years and consists of eleven finely crafted songs, on all of which he plays guitar, bass, keyboards and performs the vocals (with the exception of the final track), and is supported by Christer Jansson on drums and Alexander King on piano. The first nine songs are a loose concept arc, followed by an updated recording of the 1987 track 'Can't Go On Without Your Love' and ending with 'Still Here Waiting' where Adrienn Antal takes over the vocal duties.

This is a difficult album to describe as the content doesn't follow any particular style or conventions. The release bio describes this as a Heavy Rock album with modern influences and should appeal to listeners of Gary Moore, Michael Schenker and Uli Jon Roth – the latter I can see. Mattson sounds like a cross between Sting and John Anderson but doesn't have the strongest voice, so the sound is dominated by the guitar which is very expressive and innovative.

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'Rock Your World' opens the album and it starts with a catchy guitar riff that is the hook for the song. This is followed by the heavier 'Snow Queen' and 'You' with its slow bass intro becoming the background riff that is the song's foundation. The lighter 'Queen Of Love' is a slower track, but one with plenty of virtuoso guitar work, while 'Helena Of Troy' is probably the heaviest offering with its heavy chord riff intro and pounding drums throughout. 'Stand Up And Shout' maintains the heavy theme with a powerful riff that's not a million miles away from Dire Straits' 'Money For Nothing'. 'Bleed For You' slows things down again, whereas 'I'll Be Your Light' is a mid-tempo track with some incredible guitar tones. 'If Loving You Is A Sin' then follows and could be considered a ballad which suits Lars Eric Mattson's voice.

This is an album that will appeal to those that appreciate virtuoso guitar playing with interesting arrangements that are a bit different. Highlights for me would be '...Troy' and '...World'.

Chris Mee

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