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Articles Home » 2003 Articles » Laudamus - 2003 Lost In Vain
 
Laudamus - 2003 Lost In Vain


LAUDAMUS - LOST IN VAIN (2003, ESCAPE MUSIC, ESM 088)
Peter Stenlund - vocals, guitars
Jonas Stenlund - bass, vocals
Jonas Cederteg - drums, vocals

Additional Musicians:
Ed Roth - keyboards
Philip Bardowell - backing vocals
Ken Tamplin - backing vocals


Background
This Swedish trio have been around for a little while, 1992 in fact. Through many varied band lineups, Laudamus finally settled around 1997 with the above lineup, and two years later released their debut album, after much gnashing of teeth! Four years later, a new label, and we've got 'Lost In Vain', which is their second full length album. It features a strong guest-list of players who turn up for cameo apeparances. Names like Philip Bardowell (Unruly Child), Ed Roth (Impelliteri), Marty Friedman, Jeff Scott Soto, Matthias Eklundh (Freak Kitchen), Kee Marcello, Howie Simon and Rob Rock all wield their intermittent magic somewhere along the way. The other notable is Christian rocker Ken Tamplin who guests and produces the whole album, and yes, if you're putting two and two together - Laudamus are a Christian band, and no, they don't play like that other Swedish Christian band of noteriety.. Leviticus! Many of the reviews I've read so far about 'Lost In Vain' have been less than encouraging, however, I've given the album a fair listen and came away feeling quite upbeat about it all. The production is very tight, no problems there, it's more American sounding than Swedish, and the songs hit me in the right places: catchy choruses and strong guitars.. a winning combination. Were these reviewers on drugs or something?

The Songs
Laudamus introduce themselves with some scything guitar riffs on the title track opener. An easy to remember chorus topped off by Marty Friedman's wah-ing solo sends us on our way. 80's style L.A hair metal a la Black n Blue and Rough Cutt is all the rage on 'Mother Evolution', again a killer chorus is the cherry on top. 'My Hearts On Fire' reminds me of Christian melodic rockers Legend (or Legend Seven as they became), with some good chug-along melodic metal. My fave tune is 'In The Final Hour', containing some nice keys, plenty of tempo changes, and some dramatics befitting the songtitle. The band take on a upbeat funk-rocker with the strangely titled 'Die', sort of like It's Alive meets House Of Shakira. A strange mix but it just gets a pass mark. Taking a step along the retro road is the track 'Free', the guitar heroics of Kee Marcello a familiar return to the scene. Moving into metal-overdrive is the Euro-metal flavoured 'I Am', the chugging guitars straight out of the Pretty Maids and Aidean school of guitar-playing. 'Lay Your Burdens' is a slow burn rocker, the solo at the 2 min 20 mark is sensational. Keeping the hard-driving rhythms on 'Salvation' in place is guest Howie Simon. The guitars are set to stun on this track. The finale is the beautiful ballad 'Hear My Prayer', with many a flurry of acoustic guitar. Think Christian bands Chase and Legend (again) at their most balladic (is there such a word? there is now!), completed by a soaring solo that even Mr Huff would be proud to own.

In Summary
To be honest, after reading all the (as it turns out.. unfounded) stuff on the Internet, I seriously questioned why Escape Music signed the band, but now after having listened to them I can see they had vision! This is surprisingly a very strong album, and one that will make a regular appearance on my CD player. If you like a band with huge choruses, look no further than Laudamus. Good stuff chaps!

Track Time: 41.18

Track Listing:
01 Lost In Vain
02 Mother Evolution
03 My Hearts On Fire
04 In The Final Hour
05 Die
06 Free
07 I Am
08 Lay Your Burdens
09 Salvation
10 Hear My Prayer

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