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Osukaru - 2013 Triumphant

ARTIST: Osukaru
ALBUM: Triumphant
LABEL: Rock It Up (Germany)
YEAR: 2013


LINEUP: Oz Ozukaru - guitars, keyboards, backing vocals * Fredrik Werner - vocals, guitars, backing vocals * Cecilia Camuii - vocals, backing vocals * Jenz Bjork - saxophone * Adrian Lopez - piano, keyboards * Ryan Cole, Axel Ryberg - drums * Erik Heikne - guitar on tracks 8

TRACK LISTING: 01 Dawning (Intro) * 02 Triumphant * 03 Heaven In Your Eyes * 04 Prisoner Of The Night * 05 Walk In Balance * 06 Holding On To Memories * 07 Cruise Control (Instrumental) * 08 Mafia Rules * 09 I Won't Let You Go * 10 Never Play With Fire * 11 Believe * 12 The Fire Burns On



This Swedish outfit have been reviewed here previously. In fact last years effort 'Salvation'. You know, there's something about this lot that confuses the heck out of me. Musically, they have all the bases covered. Some quite beautiful instrumentation to be told, but they fall down on two counts, and they are big ones. Why the emphasis on the sax as a lead instrument? It just doesn't work. If I go to a pub and ask for a beer, I expect a beer. Not raspberry cordial. The same with my melodic rock. I expect healthy doses of hard hitting electric guitar, not a saxophone! And as for the vocals from newbies Fredrik Werner and Cecilia Camuii, they just didn't hit the mark. One word from me: awful!

The Songs
Nice synths and keys introduce the airy instrumental 'Dawning' which segues directly into the title track 'Triumphant', and as soon as I heard the vocals I cringed. What a mess. Beautiful keys abound on 'Heaven In Your Eyes', the song itself a reasonable mid-tempo ballad but the vocals and sax killed it for me. 'Walk In Balance' is an ethereal affair, progressive mostly quite nice in places thankfully the vocals disguising any obvious flaws. 'Holding On To Memories' features Cecilia on lead vocals, she's a cross between Alyson Avenue's Annette Olzon and the Burns Sisters, but not in the same class I'm afraid. If you like West Coast music, then the instrumental 'Cruise Control' might appeal. I like it within that context because it is a cruisy piece of music without any electric guitar. The only other song which grabbed my attention was 'The Fire Burns On', a slab of AOR perhaps similar to Greek band Wild Rose, but again, made nearly intolerable by voice and sax.

In Summary
This is a challenging album to listen to, because those aforementioned feature aspects sort of kills it really. I challenge any respecting melodic rock fan to sit through this album in one sitting and endure it all. It's a shame really, because as I said, musically Osukaru are pretty good. Last years singer Chris Tiann has departed, and I gave his vocals a serve in my previous article, but not as much as this new pairing. Oz? Find some decent singers please, and kill that saxophone! Also, the turnstile nature of the band personnel prevents this band from settling into a routine, which may be the reason for so much inconsistency.

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