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House Of Games - 2006 Rise And Shine

ARTIST: House Of Games
ALBUM: Rise And Shine
LABEL: Ram Music
YEAR: 2006


LINEUP: Erik Meremaa - vocals * Kalle Vilpuu - guitars * Henno Kelp - bass * Jevgeni Babkin - keyboards * Andrus Lillepea - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 My Child * 02 24 * 03 Hunter * 04 Ave Maria * 05 Evil In Needle * 06 Friend * 07 Spanish Man * 08 Sugar And Spice * 09 Schizophrenia *10 Dreamin' * 11 Rise And Shine



It's not often we feature a band from Estonia. In fact, for this site - it's a first! So where exactly is Estonia by the way? I'm sure someone can tell us, or perhaps we get off our lazy backsides and deploy Google Earth! Recently discovered on a peer melodic rock website out there (won't tell you which one.. Haha!), I had a listen to these guys and thought they were pretty good. With a sound that mixes the current day styles of Leverage and Ancara plus past faves Aces High, these boys have struck an interesting combination. Whether by fate or by design, they've got an album on their hands which deserves a wider audience. Surely anything beyond Estonia is a wider audience? (just kidding). These guys are no recent arrivals either, having been in action since 1994. What happened in between times then?

The Songs
Who cares.. The band have captured my attention wholly now. There is no escape! The main thing to notice with HoG is their ability to lay on the guitar riffs nice and thick, this you can hear early on in the piece with 'My Child'. I love the deeply melodic and hypnotic vibes of '24' (surely this isn't about Keifer Sutherland? He would be chuffed! - knowing what a huge fan of melodic rock he is..). By track three it's clear we have a very good band on our hands.. 'Hunter' mixes tempo, and the capacity to mix delicate with heavy-handedness - to good effect. Keyboards should enjoy the bombast of 'Ave Maria', and also enjoy the huge choruses on 'Evil In Needle'. HoG hold back the throttle on 'Friend', an extended acoustic piece, but it's the semi-ballad of evil Hernan Cortez, the man behind the Spanish Inquisition that holds interest. Next we'll be seeing a semi-ballad on Hitler! What next? Lol! The remainder of the album tends to drift off the radar for me, with both 'Schizophrenia' and 'Dreamin' trying hard, the album ending up with the melodic ballad 'Rise And Shine' which is kinda nice.

In Summary
Despite this album first being aired in 2006 through its local label, one year on it now has a wider European release, and as a result is being picked up by major melodic rock websites for review. One of the better albums in the melodic hard rock genre this year, though I would like to put a verdict on this band after I've heard album number two.

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#1 | Eric on January 01 2008 04:54:50
Estonia was part of the USSR during the cold war. It is closer in culture to Scandanavia than Russia and trades heavily with Finland and Sweden.

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