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Overland - 2008 Break Away



ARTIST: Overland
ALBUM: Break Away
LABEL: Escape Music
SERIAL: ESM 170
YEAR: 2008

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Steve Overland - lead vocals * Anders Rydholm - guitars, keyboards, bass * Ola af Trampe - lead guitars * Gregg Bissonette - drums * Tony Morra - drums * Per Svensson - background vocals * Matt Bissonette - fretless bass * Steve Newman - guitars

TRACK LISTING: 01 This Time * 02 Alive And Kicking * 03 Break Away * 04 Like A River * 05 Look Into Your Eyes * 06 After The Fire * 07 Evangeline * 08 Heartache Calling * 09 Mad Mad World * 10 Lost In Paradise * 11 Rescue Me * 12 Until Forever Comes

RATING:

WEBLINKS: www.overland-shadowman.com


Background
Are we sure this isn't a new Grand Illusion album but with a different singer? lol! Looking at the line-up, there are a trio of former GI members who provide the backing to the voice of FM singer Steve Overland. Certainly, this is a different sounding project for Steve, not as bluesy or as soulful as on his previous works. The modern sound on this album has a darker edge, with a nod toward melodic metal but is still extremely melodic. The sound is not too far removed from last years Code project (featuring Sherwood Ball, Anders Rydholm, Ola af Trampe and Gregg Bissonette), and the last Grand Illusion album from 2004 - 'Ordinary Just Won't Do'. The catalyst through all this is the record label Escape Music, which has seen fit to follow through with all these musical connections retained.


The Songs
Opener 'This Time' features a kaleidoscope of effects and percussion. The arrangement is interesting and slightly oddball, and I'm not sure this track is the best one to open the album to be honest. 'Alive And Kicking' without doubt is the heaviest track here. Af Trampe's guitars take on a metal tone complete with pinched harmonics a la Zakk Wylde, the band delivering on the song title in spades. The title track 'Break Away' is a rollicking metalized affair, with loads of guitar antics. The solo from Af Trampe is very heavy, as is the slamming rhythm section. Whoa boys. Symphonic bursts of keyboard and guitar interplay provides the backbone to 'Like A River'. It's laid on thick allowing Overland to to sing all around it. Again, it has many attributes previously heard with Grand Illusion.. which is to be expected I guess. In the past, Overland has provided us with some magnificent moments in the ballad category. He doesn't disappoint here with the magnificent 'Look Into Your Eyes'. The vocal is the ruler on this song, the music coming second for once. A symphonic entrance beckons 'After The Fire', while guitars and keys play cloak and dagger with each other during the verses. The chorus has a familiar 'heard it all before' sound, which I reckon could've been arranged a bit better. The brief bridge and solo spot makes up for that shortfall though, very melodic.. very AOR.

'Evangeline' is a sassy modern sounding rocker with an edge. It has a Radioactive meets Toto vibe to it, which can only be good. One of my favorite tracks on the album is 'Heartache Calling'. It has unusual qualities, a slightly different arrangement, but the soaring vocal on the chorus is absolutely killer. However, we are not done with yet. The guitar solo spot, pulsing bass lines and counter melodies toward the end of the song are a winning combination. Superb. 'Mad Mad World' provides us with a deliberate build-up, and again is played in the style of Radioactive, with Ola af Trampe doing his best Tommy Denander rendition. Starting out as an acoustic piece, 'Lost In Paradise' gradually switches on the electrics, and by chorus time we are swimming in a sea of melody, with backing vocals thickening up the musical brew and then some. 'Rescue Me' and is another with a different flavor. Part melodic rock, symphonic rock and metal, all delivered with that Grand Illusion sheen of approval. The closer 'Until Forever Comes' is a semi-ballad, using drums and percussion more as a metronome. The song gathers all the troops together for one last blast of backing vocals on the final chorus, before Steve winds it down with a gentle fade out.


In Summary
There is a vast treasure trove of tracks to be found here. It took me several plays before I set pen to paper, as I was discovering new things with each listen. It's a weighty album, with a truckload of melody, 'guitar heavy' thanks to the six-string slinger wizardry of Ola af Trampe, plus it contains all the elements that made all the Grand Illusion albums such a treat. Let's not forget that 'Break Away' is still a Steve Overland solo album, but for me it's less about his current direction withFM or Shadowman. This is a different beast altogether and a much heavier one at that. Some might complain, but the rest of us are quite happy that this isn't a wimp out affair, but a solid rock beefcake with ferrite coating and melodic hundreds and thousands on top.


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Comments
#1 | YNGWIEVIKING on May 25 2008 17:34:17
clap100% AGREE WITH THE REVIEW or The PERFECT alliance between SCANDINAVIA and ENGLAND******
Or when' the SCANDI POWER POMP/AOR' meet the 'hi calss BRIT melodic Classic ROCK'Smilemusic
#2 | KurtmanJP on May 26 2008 04:33:30
'Like A River'. Man, what a song!
#3 | gdazegod on May 26 2008 04:56:38
Kurt, have you heard Grand Illusion's 'View From The Top' album from 2002? For me, one of the best albums of that year, and in my top 20 for the decade so far. Pagans Mind 'Celestial Entrance' is my top album of the decade so far..
#4 | YNGWIEVIKING on May 26 2008 10:12:34
yes those GRAND ILLUSION albums like 'view from the top'&'ordinary just won't do'are criminally underated!
SCANDI POWER POMP AOR METALrolleyesAT IT'S BEST between TNT/FAIR WARNING/SAGA/STYX/PRISONNER
About PAGAN's MIND 'celsetial entrance'that's indeed a HUGE album! the 'TRANSCENDENCE' OF THE MODERN DAY ????clap
#5 | gdazegod on May 26 2008 11:06:55
'Celestial Entrance' is an incredible album. It ain't AOR, but it's majestic, powerful and indeed.. celestial!
#6 | gdazegod on June 12 2008 12:43:04
That song 'Heartache Calling' is simply a sensational track. Listen to the pre-solo and solo sections. Amazing bass work.. whomever is doing it.. Rydholm or Bissonette.. One of the songs of the year for me!
 
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