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Winterlong - 2001 Valley Of The Lost

Hussni Morsare - vocals, rhythm guitars
Thorbjorn Englund - guitars
Erik Tomberg - bass
Toni Erkkila - drums

Winterlong are a young quartet (average age around 20 yrs) originating from Kalix in the very far north of Sweden. Having been together since 1998, the tightness and professionalism shown on 'Valley of the Lost' is impressive. Winterlong are, I believe, Lion Music's first foray into straight ahead power metal territory, and they've picked a good act to start with.

The Songs
Manowar fans should take note as vocalist Hussni Morsare is a dead ringer for the 'War's Eric Adams. Morsare has a touch less melody to his vocals, but if you don't mind Adam's then you'll have no problem. Thorbjorn Englund on lead guitar is definitely a very talented player, and it is his melodic soloing that stands out. Although he lists Yngwie Malmsteen as his main inspiration, Thorbjorn has developed a much smoother sound, opting for definition rather than speed (but when he shreds, it is spectacular). At times parts of the solos are so melodic they remind me of the melodic rock of Treat for example. The short interlude 'Victory' displays Englund's talent well with a wonderful soaring and atmospheric solo. Together Englund and Morsare lay a strong foundation of crisp and crunchy riffs that alternate between the speed and fury of Manowar and a sound more pure metal sound. Speed usually dominates, though.

In Summary
Although there isn't any one track that completely grabs you 'Mystery of Life' is the pick of the bunch, the material is of a good standard and is well above that of most aspiring power metal band's. A superb production job by Lars Eric Mattsson has also assisted the album greatly. For such a young band 'Valley of the Lost' shows great potential.

Track Listing:
01 From Heaven To Hell
02 Sky Travellers
03 Winterlong
04 Valley Of The Lost
05 The Water Spirit
06 Nosferatu
07 Myster Of Life
08 Victory
09 Written In Blood
10 Driven By Insanity

Related Articles:

Winterlong - 2001 Valley Of The Lost

Winterlong - 2003 Second Coming

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