Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Various Artists: "Embrace The Sun - The Lion Music Japan Benefit Project"

Label: Lion Music 2011

Review by Kimmo Toivonen

The tsunami that destroyed parts of north-eastern Japan in March really brought people together to help the victims. Hard rockers seemed to be specially touched by the events, as there have been at least three charity albums made for the cause. This one features artists of the Lion Music record label, who specialize in guitar-oriented, mostly progressive metal. There are 28 tracks and artists here, most of whom have chosen to donate balladic tracks to the album. Thanks to that, this is a bit more accessible than a full-blown blast of 28 prog metal tracks from the same bands... okay, not all of Lion Music's bands are progressive, but anyway.

There are several rather nice songs from artists like Milan Polak, Anthriel, Missing Tide and Mastercastle, to name a few. Then again, a couple of the songs are just hideous, most notably the pointless instrumental jam by Mastermind and the schitzophrenic metal by Infinity Overdrive, and I can't say I'm impressed by the title track, performed by The Lions, a Lion Music All-Stars type of a thing. Sure, the virtuoso guitarists and keyboardists showcase their talent but the song itself is a jazzy, dull instrumental - elevator metal...

Despite what I wrote above, there way more good than bad here and if you like progressive metal and guitarists in particular, you could do much worse than invest a few euros in this double album. It's for a good cause, so it'll be money well spent.


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