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Beautiful Sin - 2006 The Unexpected



ARTIST: Beautiful Sin
ALBUM: The Unexpected
LABEL: AFM Records
SERIAL: AFM 094-2
YEAR: 2006

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Magali Luyten - vocals * Jorn Viggo Lofstad - guitars * Steinar Krokmo - bass * Axel Mackenrott - keyboards * Uli Kusch - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Lost * 02 This Is Not The Original Dream * 03 Take Me Home * 04 I'm Real * 05 The Spark Of Ignition * 06 Closer To My Heart * 07 Give Up Once And For All * 08 Brace For Impact * 09 Pechvogel (Unlucky Fellow) * 10 Metalwaves * 11 The Beautiful Sin * 12 Le Reve Originel

RATING:

WEBLINKS: www.ulikusch.de


Background
We're a bit late with this review, but we got there in the end. Beautiful Sin - a supergroup in the making? Not so sure about that one. Another band that is a European league of nations? Quite definitely yes on that one. We see Belgium, Germany and Norway joining forces on this four man one woman project, and though it's not quite a European Community board meeting, the voting for 'The Unexpected' gets a unanimous seal of approval. The focal point of the band is female singer Magali Luyten, and when you think of European metal bands with female singers, everyone automatically assumes 'oh no.. it's another Nightwish clone a la Tarja, or Within Temptation a la Sharon Van Adel. Thankfully Magali is neither. She is a singer that can hold her own in any HM band, and though she can't quite emulate the full-throated power of a Veronica Freeman (Benedictum) for instance, she sounds damn good nonetheless. With the other guys in the band, we get a melting pot of Masterplan and Pagans Mind, and the resulting sound is impressive, veering more toward the Masterplan side of the fence. Not surprising really, since their drummer (and former Helloween sticksman) Uli Kusch is the brains behind Beautiful Sin. Apparently Uli had worked with Magali back in 2002 when she was part of a band called Over Us Eden. When Uli started working on his own material, Magali was bought into the fold.. Beautiful Sin was born.


The Songs
Let me state from the outset that this is a metal album, not some gothic grandiose operatic work that most Euro bands with chick singers tend to gravitate toward. This is apparent from the get-go with opener 'Lost'. Lofstad churns out one thunderous riff after the other while the bed of synths laid by Mackenrott ensures the melody is (unlike the song title) not lost. I fell in love with 'This Is Not The Original Dream' when I first heard it. The hook was so compelling it kept doing the rounds in my head for days on end. Ditto 'Take Me Home' which is a fast paced and infectious. Keeping a finger on the 'urgent' button is 'The Spark Of Ignition', the back-end rhythm section is hard-driving allowing Lofstad to showcase his considerable guitar talent. Changing pace is the ballad 'Closer To My Heart', followed by the slightly demented 'Give Up Once For All', which sounds skitzo though to be fair, melody is still highly evident. Proving to be different yet again is the instrumental 'Brace For Impact', a fantastic pompous keyboard workout from Axel Mackenrott that would give Derek Sherinian a run for his money. Further contrast is provided with the blistering rap-metal of 'Pechvogel (Unlucky Fellow)'. Don't let the style put you off - it actually sounds kinda cool. Returning to the style of metal which is their trademark, 'Metalwaves' is a storming effort, Magali is a vocal chameleon on this one. Angelic one moment, growling death metal the next. The European bonus track 'Le Reve Originel' is 'This Is Not The Original Dream' sung in French, though you have to hear the whole song to enjoy the barnyard antics at the tail end of it (hidden track). So funny!


In Summary
I reckon this album will find favour with many melodic rock fans here at GDAZE. It is an album of unusual flavours, and full of contrasts. Even with Magali's vocals, you get the impression that she could chuck her hand at any musical style and make it sound good. An impressive talent for sure. The overall Euro metal style on display lacks for nothing. It has everything you would expect from a line-up of this caliber, and because I am a huge Pagans Mind fan, getting to hear Jorn-Viggo Lofstad and Steinar Krokmo in action is like pollen to a bee. One of the surprises of the 2006 year.


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