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Constancia - 2009 Lost And Gone



ARTIST: Constancia
ALBUM: Lost And Gone
LABEL: Frontiers
SERIAL: FRCD 417
YEAR: 2009

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: David Fremberg - vocals * Janne Stark - guitars * Mikael Rosengren - keyboards * Michael Mueller - bass * Peter Svensson - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Fallen Hero * 02 Troublemaker * 03 Blind * 04 Little Big You * 05 The King Is Calling * 06 Dying By Your Flames * 07 Save Me * 08 No One Like You * 09 Life Is A Mystery * 10 I Never Said Goodbye * 11 Wish I Could Fly

RATING:

WEBLINKS: www.myspace.com/constanciamusic


Background
During July 2009, we saw the release of an interesting new Swedish project - Constancia. The two main guys in this band are keyboardist Mikael Rosengren, formerly with Scudiero and Token, plus guitarist Janne Stark, best remembered from the band Locomotive Breath, but of more interest to us here at GDAZE, he is the author of The Swedish Encyclopedia of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. Though their credentials may not exactly fit the types of albums reviewed at GDAZE, their combination on Constancia certainly does. Now, I will admit that I haven't been a big fan of Frontiers choices over the last few years, but recently, they have stepped up their game. The occasional lapse (such as the Lou Gramm Band) aside, we are mostly talking quality releases - Constancia is a case in point. For me, Constancia's sound comes alive thanks to the seriously good vocals provided by Andromeda vocalist David Fremberg. He sounds like a replica of Goran Edman in places, and that is one huge endorsement. Though scattered across Scandinavia, the band members have used technology to bring it all together, using mixer Fredrik Folkare to combine Constancia's two pre-requisites: melody and heaviness. 'Lost And Gone' is the result, containing many of the elements that excite hard rock listeners, namely good and strong use of keyboards plus huge vocal melodies. Aah, what more can we ask for?


The Songs
First up, we've got 'Fallen Hero', which gallops across the battlefields of rock, not a bullet wound or shrapnel damage to be found.

'Troublemaker' is the second track, but I think this should've been put further down the order, as better tracks are yet to come, specifically the next one..

'Blind' is simply a delicious slab of melodic rock chocolate, you'll be coming back for more of this! It is a hybrid of many great Scandi bands from both past and present.

Spacey synths and tapping piano feature heavily on 'Little Big You', primarily a ballad with heavy-ish overtones.

No, 'The King Is Calling' is not a tune about Elvis having found refuge in a telephone booth, it veers heavily toward a mild form of power metal, and as with the very best exponents of that sub-genre, melody abounds.

Some big wooping synth filters introduce 'Dying By Your Flames', and though the songtitle might suggest it's a song about cremation, I'll be guessing that it isn't! Again, it shifts to the power metal side of the musical spectrum, combining power and melody with effortless effect.

The same goes for 'Save Me', monstrous guitars, dynamic keyboards and 'in your face' for the most part.

Again, we get attacked by an out of control synth and its rampant low pass filter as we move through 'No One Like You'. What can you say, Scandi melodic mayhem strikes again!

Constancia's second ballad 'Life Is A Mystery' is best heard under a set of headphones, the sonic majesty of this one can be best appreciated this way, whether it's Fremberg's vocals, Rosengren's subtle keys or Stark's bullish guitar lines.

The band pick up the pace for the outrageously good 'I Never Said Goodbye', which is bought back to the middle spectrum between power metal and hard rock. The tempo is slightly faster, with a hard driving bass line keeping it above the mid-tempo level.

'Wish I Could Fly' to my ears is a bit of an uneven mix. The synth is absolutely buried under an avalanche of guitar, though you can make out the piano because of its ability to cut through the mix.

The title track finale is the longest on the album at six and a half minutes. It's one of the best too, with a huge pompous and bombastic approach. Given the track length, surprisingly the song doesn't shift around a great deal, but it doesn't bore you either. Keyboards are given focus, as the vocal harmonies.


In Summary
Twelve tracks all under an hours listening time, so that won't strain your busy schedule. Admit it, we're all busy, but if you can find time for this album, then it will be 50 plus minutes well spent. 'Lost And Gone' might appear to be siding with the hard rock fan club, but in all honesty, this is heavy shit, you'd be inclined to compare this lot to bands like Coldspell, Cloudscape, which is all good by me. Though 'Lost And Gone' has been cobbled together from various locations, it still has a cohesive feel to it, an opinion not shared by some other European melodic rock websites out there. Get over it chumps!This is the sort of album that people will come back to, after being dazzled by many of the so called 'stellar' releases for 2009. I'll admit to being a late comer to Constancia's great brand of hard rock, but pleased to have given these guys their moment in the sun. Hopefully this is not a one off affair, with more goodies to be graced in the years ahead.


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Comments
#1 | george_the_jack on November 28 2009 11:38:13
I really like this album.A melodic hard rock/melodic metal record sung by an excellent emotional voice. Yes the vocalist highlights the songs in many places while the background keyboards give a mellowdramatic and dark atmosphere to the whole thing. Best moments are 'Fallen Hero' and 'Life is a mystery'.
#2 | swazi on December 23 2009 23:34:03
Yes, this one came out of nowhere really. And I am glad I didn't miss it. Very enjoyable!
#3 | george_the_jack on May 23 2013 21:07:43
''Lost and gone'' along with ''The Crowning'' by Crash the System, are 2 of my most beloved records of the year 2009. Liked them when they came out, while I still find many rich elements when diving into their sonic worlds. Recently I got to track down both albums in physical copies for 5 pounds. Yes, 5GBP for both of them, which is rather a proof that the aforementioned albums did not sell well at the time and there's still some stock out there today being sold in bargain prices. Both albums share more or less the same story. Didn't score excellent reviews, neither sold many copies while they rather fell off the radar of many listeners of the genre at that time. Today, 4 years later, I still enjoy them and visit them pretty often.
 
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