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Sparklands - 'Tomocyclus' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/70/3c/37/Sparklands-Tomocyclus-44-1390426268.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 22, 2014    
 
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I highly recommend this to those who have lost their faith in AOR.

Sparklands hail from Holland and are fronted by brothers Thomas (Vocals) and Robert Riekerk (Guitar) and although they are a new band to the AOR scene they sure know how to write a killer AOR tune, and in 'Tomocyclus' have produced one of the strongest albums in the genre this year. I think their experiences in other bands and genres has helped develop their song writing skills and their obvious love for the genre has meant not only do they know all the right elements needed to make it work but also how to make their own mark and modernize their sound, making for very impressive songs with a high calibre of song writing.

'Tomocyclus' does have a strong eighties AOR inspiration with many songs making me think they could have been used in movies back in that decade, 'Afterlife' and 'State Of Mind' are obvious examples. That said they do have a few modern twists in their song writing that makes them stand out in the crowd and make songs like 'The Game', 'Skyline' and 'Joanne' so fresh and exciting. Again I think their experiences elsewhere have made them approach their lyrics with more thought, so avoiding clichés and blandness, this has given the songs more credibility and makes the album as a whole a breath of fresh air.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Thomas has a great smooth vocal perfect for this style, but he also has a bit of grit to his voice which he brings out on certain vocal lines to give it a stronger impact. The top notch production also helps propel the band forward as a serious and professional act, which is important for a new act trying to break through. This album was a real revelation for me: beautiful and wonderful, everything you want AOR to be, packed with instantly catchy choruses, delicious melodies, and a feel good ambience.

A friend stated to me recently that they have become disenchanted with the current melodic rock scene as they feel there is too much manufactured 'Scandi' sounding stuff with the same songwriters used by many artists and they have become bored of the scene. I understood where he was coming from although I don't feel the same, there is still plenty of stuff out there that excites me and if you look for it you can find absolute gems like Sparklands. These guys definitely aren't manufactured and while they wear their Eighties inspirations with pride they have a fresh touch and I think these guys could appeal too many of those who think the melodic rock scene has become too formulaic.

So I highly recommend this to those who have lost their faith in AOR: Check out Sparklands and believe again! For the rest of you AOR fanatics, you're going to love this album, trust me!

Woody

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