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Alyson Avenue - 2004 Omega



ARTIST: Alyson Avenue
ALBUM: Omega
LABEL: AOR Heaven
SERIAL: AORH00008
YEAR: 2004
CD REISSUE: 2009, Yesterrock (NLD), NL10077

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Anette Blyckert - vocals * Niclas Olsson - keyboards, drums * Patrik Svard - guitars * Thomas Loyska - bass * Christoffer Dahlman - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 When Dreams Fall Apart * 02 Tonight Is All You Get * 03 Perfect Love * 04 One Life One Show * 05 Do You Ever Miss My Passion * 06 Echoes Of My Heart * 07 I Still Believe * 08 I Have Been Waiting * 09 Can I Be Wrong * 10 Whenever You Need Someone

WEBLINKS: www.alysonavenue.se


Background
Back in 2000, Swedish AORsters Alyson Avenue released a superb female fronted effort called 'Presence Of Mind'. Very much an underrated outfit, their brand of AOR and melodic rock which saw comparisons to Tone Norum and 220 Volt raised a few eyebrows among the community, particularly the classy vocals of singer Anette Blyckert. They drifted off the scene for a while, and it seemed unlikely that the group would return to the studio, despite their status as still being active. Four years later they would indeed return to the studio, though with two new additions to the family: guitarist Patrick Svard and drummer Christoffer Dahlman. The key main behind Alyson Avenue is keys man Niclas Olsson. He provides the backdrop, but ultimately, Alyson Avenue's sound is considerably beefed up.


The Songs
Is this a good thing or not? Well, the keyboards keeps the melodic side of things in perspective, but the overall balance is not quite there on 'Omega'. The guitars lack subtlety. Svard, better known in metal bands needed to be less 'metallic' and 'one dimensional'. For instance, there are no acoustic guitars on the album (not that I can hear), nor is there a change-up in tone. The band have tried to cover this up with layers of keyboards and Anette Blyckert's lovely voice (solo and harmony) but this can only go so far. However, there a whole bunch of good tracks notwithstanding: the opener 'When Dreams Fall Apart' introduces the band, laying all the cards on the table from the outset. 'One Life One Show' displays some good ideas while 'Can I Be Wrong' is probably the best track on the album, where the band blend together well. The two ballads 'Echoes Of My Heart' and 'Whenever You Need Someone' soar at the appropriate times, whereas 'I Still Believe' has the most AOR features of all the songs, due mainly to the keyboards yet again.


In Summary
It seems that this band, and fellow Southern Swedish outfits Second Heat and prog metallers Cloudscape are all joined at the hip. Personnel from all three bands have interchanged in recent years, though the respective sound of each band is significantly different, though on 'Omega' that boundary is just about reached. Alyson Avenue are still there or thereabouts, it just depends on how urgent a new album is for the band, given the musical climate and indifference to melodic rock by the ignorant public. If I can make a suggestion, add more melodic dynamics to the sound, reduce the guitar bludgeon, and chuck in more male harmony vocals and acoustic passages to round it out.


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Comments
#1 | jefflynnefan on April 08 2008 04:30:08
I guess the singer of this band is now fronting Nightwish?
#2 | gdazegod on April 08 2008 04:35:24
Indeed she is, plus Anette can be heard singing co lead vocals on the latest Brother Firetribe track 'Heart Full Of Fire' - which is a monster sounding song from the album of the same name!
#3 | jefflynnefan on April 09 2008 01:24:42
It's hard to believe the video of 'Amaranth' by Nightwish featuring Anette has over Nine Million views at YouTube. That can't be right, can it?
#4 | Jez on June 16 2008 03:50:33
A much better releases than the debut. Again nothing spectacular on show, although this one has some decent songs and production is way better/tougher. 'When Dreams Fall Apart' & 'One Life One Show' are the stand outs here.
 
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