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Tears Of Anger - 2006 In The Shadows


TEARS OF ANGER - IN THE SHADOWS (2006, LION MUSIC)
Benny Jansson - guitars
Bjorn Jansson - vocals
Daniel Flores - drums
Johan Niemann - bass


Background
Another in a slew of recent releases from Lion Music. Wow, this label can do no wrong at the moment! This time we see the Jansson connection (Benny and Bjorn.. omg.. it's Abba revisited!), plus the Minds Eye back-end of Daniel Flores and Johan Niemann. If you are thinking that this is a gonna be tedious HM extravaganza then fear not. Tears Of Anger (aka TOA) have loads of melody and power. In fact, you'd be reaching for your nearest House Of Lords album thinking that James Christian is putting in a guest appearance. And with House Of Lords being quite topical at the moment, pending their new release 'World Upside Down', pairing up with this Swedish outfit is a good match, though in all honesty, I'd take TOA any day over HOL, who have never been a band to sink deep into my consciousness I'm afraid. Benny Jansson appeared on 2005's 'Caleidoscope' album by the interesting prog crossover outfit Xsavior, and prior to that TOA released an earlier album called 'Still Alive'. Reading elsewhere on the Net, Benny has described this latest album with a term called MPA, which equates to metal, progressive, AOR. I guess this means hard-hitting, technical and melodic. If that is the case, then TOA wins hands down. The guitars from Benny are at times brutal, in the vein of Pagans Mind axe-slinger Jorn Viggo Lofstad, while the vocals from brother Bjorn.. well.. if he wanted to audition for House Of Lords then here is the perfect replacement! You can also hear elements of Graham Bonnet in his vocal inflection as well. A huge compliment indeed.

The Songs
The title track leads us off, featuring big riffs, a terrific drum-pattern and an anthemic chorus. Another band that could be compared with TOA is one-off Norwegian band Street Legal. Their interesting use of bluesy guitar-lines can be heard on tracks such as 'Spirit Running Free' and 'How Will I Live'. Fans of faster paced prog metal can take solace with 'Tears In My Eyes', a heavier-than-thou track with a dark edge. Delving deeper is the angry 'I Hate You', the brooding soundscape prevailing like a thick angst-filled blanket. 'Sell My Soul' is the bands power-ballad, with ambient piano, an array of sound-effects and a crescendo build-up to the eventual chorus and solo sections. 'Live These Dreams' and 'Scene Of The Crime' are both slower paced tracks in the vein of Pagans Mind without the OTT galactic theme portrayed by that great Norwegian band. The tempo picks up for the enjoyable 'Light Up My Fuse'. Even faster is the Van Halen speed workout of 'Full Of Lies'. Meanwhile, the riffs get down and dirty on 'Close To The Fire', reminding me of that other Swedish/Lion Music alumni Dogpound. The album finishes up with 'I'm Coming Home', further evidence that this band have found a formula that works for them, a grinding metallic effort still with an abundance of melody.

In Summary
A very good band who are still relatively new to the scene. Though they are primarily metal, they appeal greatly to melodic rockers with their sound. The Jansson brothers are sensational, and expect to hear more from singer Bjorn, this guy is a star in the making, mark my words! For a band that uses anger as its principle emotion and theme, you might construe the subject matter to be dark and oppressive, but the music doesn't come across like that at all. If it was an advertising campaign then the band would've failed big time. Thankfully it isn't, and us melodic rockers are a forgiving lot anyway. I'm certain I'll be revisiting this album often in 2006. One of many surprise packets so far from Lion. Keep it up Lasse.

URL: www.tearsofanger.com

Track Listing:
01 In The Shadows
02 Spirit Running Free
03 Tears In My Eyes
04 I Hate You
05 Sell My Soul
06 Live These Dreams
07 Scene Of The Crime
08 Light Up My Fuse
09 How Will I Live
10 Full Of Lies
11 Close To The Fire
12 I'm Coming Home

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