Reviews April/05

Enic / Enic / En CD 1


Enic - Progressive Danish talents! Tracklisting:Guiding Light; Falling; Over you; Funny Things; Midnight on my Mind.

Enic is a new powerrock band (as they call it themselves) from Denmark. The band has a lot of experience from the melodic rock scene as they come from bands like Amazon, Carmen and Duran Duran Jam. Amazon once released a single called "You can't run out" and opened for Pearl Jam in Denmark.
This Copenhagen 5(sometimes 6)-some is in my opinion creatively inspired by classic progressive rock like Saga but also has references to newer bands like Swedish A.C.T. - the band features the talents of Lars Lilja Ekenberg on guitar, Lars Peters on guitar, Hans-Henrik Mejle on bass, Christian Mejle on keyboards, Brian Skovgaard on drums and finally Marc Clear on vocals - but shortly after the recordings of this mini-album Marc Clear got a contract with the Opera in Berlin as he is a trained operasinger!. I talked to keyboard player Christian Mejle, and he told me that right now the band is rehearsing with a new singer - but it sure takes a good one to match the wide range of Mr. Clear. The plan is to re-release this self-financed piece of work with the new singer first and then when the reaction is positive - and it will be - from festivals, radio and fans maybe releasing a full album through a distribution label, and then... the sky is the limit!
Nevertheless this is 5 track "demo" CD - with a rare classy production and a powerful sound. 100% quality - i'm impressed. Especially the track "Falling" is a big big track. And it is even more impressive that the album is made in just a-weekends-work. The music is recorded "live" and then the vocals, the soloes and the choir is put on, as the topping on the cake. One of the things regarding the music, the band got positive respons on is their use of the keyboard as a main instrument (like Dream Theater) with a lot of strange noices and tecno influence. And mixed with rather raw sound of the guitar it is a unique blend... the band is right now experimenting with an even more raw sound by tuning the guitar down half a tone.
Please check out Danish prog rockers Enic as they are on their way up. If they stick to their guns they will be big - they have the potential to a lot more. Great!

220 Volt / Made in Jamtland / SM-01-CD


220 Volt - back and very much alive! Tracklisting:Intro; Firefall; I'm on Fire; Don't come my Way; Sauron (incl. Jamtlands song); On Top of the World; Powergames; The End of the World; Woman in white; Prisoner of War; Child of the Night; Heavy Christmas; Mind over Muscle (soundcheck recording).

One of the best melodic acts ever on the big Scandinavian music scene of the glorious 80's is back in business. Re-united in 2002 after 10 years break to celebrate their 20th Anniversary and playing a lot of live gigs, festivals etc. - among others a memorable show at Sweden Rock 2003 - 220 VOLT is now ready to enter the scene again - back then they were a tad harder than fellow Swedes Europe and Treat leaning more towards the British hard rock and NWOBHM-scene. This time with a live record following the succes of Power Play Records re-issuing the bands excellent 1988 album "Eye to Eye", which had new artwork photos and photo material in general as well as two bonus tracks! and a new album "Volume 1" limited to 1000 copies.
The band on "Made in Jamtland" is Christer "Frille" Ns on lead vocals, Thomas Drevin and Mats Karlsson both on guitars, Mike Larsson Krusenberg on bass and Peter Hermansson on drums supplied by Kjell-Erik "Kill-Erik" Eriksson on hardrock violin. These sure knows how to play - the band sounds like a tight unit especially the almost-symphonic intro to "Sauron" (originally from 1982) works really well Mr. Ns sounds like a fresh Ian Astbury (The Cult) and the violin adds touches of Swedish traditional folklore music - really good. But my all time favorite with 220 VOLT is the title track from their 1984 released album "Powergames" which back then gave them a support job for Nazareth in Scandinavia. Especially the twin guitar formation of Karlsson/Drevin works fantastic. Some great moments are also the up-tempo track "Woman in white" and the Christmas carrol "Heavy Christmas".
So if you missed out 220 VOLT in the first period 1979-1992, don't miss them again and start out right here!

Dare / The Power of Nature - live in Munich / MTM 0681-129


Darren Wharton and Co. - live at last! Tracklisting:Sea of Roses; Storm Wind; Where Darkness ends; Silent Hills; Some Day; Silent Thunder; Abandon; The Fire; We will return; Song for a Friend (The King); White Horses.

Dare has made a live album. I kindda lost interest in the band after guitar maestro Vinny Burns left, but "Out of the Silence" and "Blood from a Stone" are classics in my CD collection - but i must make up for lost times as these recordings from the "Deep Impact 2004" in Munich (also released as a DVD) is a blast!
Darren Wharton is joined by Andrew Moore on guitars, Gavin Mart on drums, Richard Dews on guitar and Marc Roberts on keyboard delievers the goods here - there are several "goodies" on this album which has a playing time of nearly 1 hour - an hour of high musical class. The main thing that struck me is that even if Wharton is born in Manchester, England his time with Phil Lynott in Thin Lizzy has formed him as a songwriter more than I imagined - there are several references to celtic/irish music expression - the best tracks are "Silent Thunder" and "We will return" with its amazing big intro (in fact starting out with an acustic guitar). Even though Wharton's voice is bit hoarse in the end - but the weather wasn't that good on this festival, and the music is top class!
So if you like me missed out the diversity of Dare - i think the latest record was all ballads, and i couldn't really seperate one song from another - this is a CD to start again. Mr Wharton & Co. is of course swimming away in AOR-sferic ballads but the live-feeling makes up for the lack of the rock feeling! Don't count Dare out before you have heard the last lines of "White Horses"!

Steen Peitersen 1999-2005