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Hällas - 'Excerpts From A Future Past' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/da/2c/35/hallas-excerpts-from-a-future-past-66-1519849117.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 28, 2018    
 
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Their retro style of Hard Rock, with some serious Prog overtones and a modern twist makes the album title the perfect choice.

Every now and then an album drops from a completely new, unheard of artist or band. There's something quite refreshing about tackling a review where you know absolutely nothing about them. It's like walking on freshly fallen snow, completely free from pre-judgement, and nothing to taint the opinion before the first notes leap from the speakers. Without a bio or any history, all you have is a collection of music that over a short period of time will reveal itself and it's purely on the music heard that those initial opinions are formed.

'Excerpts From A Future Past' is the debut from Sweden's Hällas, a release comprising of only six songs clocking in at a mere thirty-six minutes. Size however does not always equate to quality. Van Halen's debut barely passed the half hour mark and there's few quibbles about that.

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An understated opening with a chiming bell precedes a flurry of six string activity that heralds the arrival of 'The Astral Seer'. A rather effective retro feel brings a familiarity to the music, with a distinct hint of Wishbone Ash twin guitar harmonies and bassist/vocalist Tommy Alexandersson adds some rich, mellow tones that recall John Wetton.
So far so good, but 'Repentance' is even better with the opening guitar melody evoking Mark Knopfler at his best, all underpinned by some prime-time Hammond Organ from Nicklas Malmqvist. An atmospheric and laid-back Opeth-like ambience envelops 'Nebulon's Tower', a short instrumental that makes you wish they'd developed this theme further into a more expansive song.

Some real classic Prog influences creep into 'The Golden City Of Semyra' without stifling the song with unnecessary time changes; everything fits into place just right. 'Star Rider' may be a good place to dip in for the casual listener with its hypnotic beat, swirling synths and uplifting hook, not forgetting those superb guitar harmonies being a constant theme during the song. 'Shadow Of The Templar' closes the album and is a real Hammond-powered Prog epic that takes a few twists and turns across its eight minute running time.

Don't go into this album looking for a quick fix. Any attempts to do so could leave you perplexed, but give this album the time it deserves and its true beauty will reveal itself with each subsequent listen. Their retro style of Hard Rock, with some serious Prog overtones and a modern twist makes the album title the perfect choice.

Mick Burgess

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