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Andersson, Richard (and Space Odyssey) - 2003 Embrace The Galaxy

Richard Andersson - keyboards
Magnus Nilsson - guitars
Zoltan Cs'rsz - drums
Patrik Johansson - vocals

Most people have a love/hate relationship with a certain Mr Yngwie Malmsteen. If you are in the 'hate' section then don't even bother to continue reading as this album is unashamedly Malmsteen influenced, fuelled by duelling neo-classical guitars sweeps and keyboards. On the other had if, like myself, your a bit of sucker for the widdly diddly guitar stuff then Yngwie may have met his match in Richard Andersson and his Space Odyssey. Richard Andersson is a keyboard player with more than a touch of talent, already releasing albums with Majestic and Time Requiem. Haven't heard those yet but will endeavour to check them out based on the strength of 'Embrace The Galaxy'. Richard roped in a couple of mates, such as Marcel Jacob, to help out with this album. Also appearing is vocalist Patrik Johannson, who is making quite a name for himself through this album and his band Astral Doors. Vocally he sounds like a rougher Tony Martin and does a great job. Guitarist Magnus Nillson is also in top form, adding weight to the Malmsteen comparisons.

The Songs
You'd expect some self-indulgence with this style of metal, and there is, but it isn't too over the top. The main concentration is on the songs, which are of a high quality. I'm not going to go into great detail about the songs as you have a good idea of what to expect if you have a penchant for Malmsteen, Narnia, Medusa and the like, though they'd be hard pressed to match a song like the brilliant title track. Patrik sings his ass off and the chorus is huge. On a couple of tracks I even detect the odd early Symphony X moment. On a few occasions the production is patchy, but not enough to get worried about.

In Summary
If you're still reading then you are going to be very pleased with this album. Those who aren't reading would probably label 'Embrace The Galaxy' as another example of musical masturbation. My thought is, if you are going to do something, do it well. These guys go beyond that!

Track Listing:
01 Despair and Pain
02 Embrace The Galaxy
03 Emposium
04 Entering the Dome
05 The House with a Hundred Windows
06 Grand Opening
07 Requiem for a Dream
08 Seduction of Life
09 A Perfect Day

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