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Articles Home » 2006 Articles » O'Hora, Tony - 2006 Escape Into The Sun
 
O'Hora, Tony - 2006 Escape Into The Sun


TONY O'HORA - 2006 ESCAPE INTO THE SUN (2006, FRONTIERS)
Tony O'Hora - vocals
Magnus Karlsson - all instruments


Background
An interesting release this one. Admittedly it would've been an album that could have been easily overlooked. If only for the presence of Magnus Karlsson, who has impressed me immensely since his efforts with Last Tribe, Strabreaker and the Allen - Lande album 'The Battle'. However, the album is also a showcase for singer Tony O'Hora, previously known to us as the voice behind outfits such as Praying Mantis, The Sweet and (sic) Horakane. Another singer with an excellent set of pipes, Tony was recruited by Frontiers to deliver the goods in tandem with Karlsson. Various song ideas come together as a result of their collaboration, the final product being 'Escape Into The Sun'. It is a merger of some heavy-hitting musical expression from both parties, this effort sitting pretty in the melodic metal camp. No pink fluffy AOR to be found here folks!

The Songs
If an opening track can grab your attention so soon after the start, then that surely is a good sign. 'Broken Soul' does exactly that. 'Escape Into The Sun' is more reserved upon its entrance, but the big rich chorus lets everyone know that there is power within the grooves. When listening to 'No More Innocence', it uses sparse verses to build up to the choruses, played in the grand-epic metal tradition of Kamelot and.. of course Allen - Lande. 'High Enough' is more of the same, while 'My Final Prayer' is the obligatory power ballad on the album, and damn good it is too. One of the better tracks here, with a magic chorus - the tinkly piano lines give a breath of ambience. You'll get caught up in a serious backwash of riffing on 'Dreamless Nights', its metal heritage coming undone on the modern metal infusion that is 'More Than We Know'. Certainly the younger audience will appreciate where this track is headed. Back in traditional metal mode is 'Close To Me', the vocal resembling Tony Harnell in a lower register. Anthemic metal is the best way to describe 'Evil Love', the introspect intro and mild verses lie in wait for some thrilling riffs and melodic choruses. Tony's voice takes on harsh tone for 'Black Wings' probably not suiting his style the best. Much better is 'Start All Over', probably my pick of the album. The keyboard flurries, melodic vocals, and a killer solo propels this song to the surface with ease. The album closer is the ballad 'Never Alone', on this one O'Hora's vocal veers down the Tommy Heart (Fair Warning) path which is no bad thing when dealing with songs like this within the metal genre.

In Summary
I am glad I gave this album a chunk of my time. It has been getting good press, if only for the performances of both parties. Though marketed as Tony O'Hora's debut solo album, I am sure he wouldn't begrudge the efforts and contribution put in by Magnus Karlsson. Without it, perhaps the accolades wouldn't be so forthcoming. However, a fine slice of rock it is, easily finding a safe spot in my CD collection between melodic metal and hard rock. What else will Karlsson get himself involved with for 2006?

URL: www.tonyohora.com

Track Listing:
01 Broken Soul
02 Escape Into The Sun
03 No More Innocence
04 High Enough
05 My Final Prayer
06 Dreamless Nights
07 More Than We Know
08 Close To Me
09 Evil Love
10 Black Wings
11 Start All Over
12 Never Alone

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Comments
#1 | Jez on June 16 2008 13:03:44
This really strikes me as a bit of an Allen/Lande leftovers release. The sound is very similar to 'The Battle' with Karlsson once again pulling out all the stops, coupled with an impressive performance by O'Hora. Songwise this isn't as good as 'The Battle' but to expect it to be is probably being a tad unfair considering the standards set by that album. If you liked the Allen/Lande there is definately something on here & you will be impressed of that I am sure,just not to the same levels.
 
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