Reviews October/05

Aina / livin' in a Boy's World / MTM Classix 0681-143


Aina - Lost Norwegian melodic Rock princess! Tracklisting:Intro; Rocks off; I must be in Love; Believe in me; Shot down in Flames; You Baby You; Livin' in a Boy's World; A Love forever Story; I need to know; Pleasure & Pain; Save me Father (bonus track); It's raining it's pouring (bonus track); Too good to be true (bonus track); If I can't have you (bonus track); Shake you good (bonus track).

Aina who once was a big name in homeland Norway. And this album is yet another classic! Aina also may be counted as one of the heaviest sought after Ebay albums in melodic rock. The beautiful Aina nowadays makes a good living as a professional photographer. But has a multi creative talent; singer/songwriter and she lends her music and voice for commercials in the USA but has recorded since she was 17!
With "Living in a Boy’s World" Aina settled herself on top of the melodic and AOR world. The album, originally released in Scandinavia only through Universal Music Norway, is packed with mega melodic, keyboard driven melodic hard rock in the vein of Annicka or Erika, all swirling around the great voice of Aina herself. On this album, she piles one hit single on top of another hymn - a bit like i.e. Fiona, too.
As i said before there are a lot of beautiful songs here: "Rocks Off" and "Shot down in Flames," are both top of the notch AOR tracks. With catchy choruses and great guitar/keyboard hooks... The title track is a perfect example of this expertise, too. Aina also shines when she sings her heartfelt ballads like the mellow "Believe in Me" or the Heart-esque "You Baby You". But my favorite is the Deep Purle-inspired "Pleasure & Pain" (great Hammond intro), great!
On the record there are 5 bonus tracks, which have a slightly worse production. With her on this album Aina hired 5 guys Rolf Graf and Marius Müller on guitars, Lasse Hafreager on Hammond Diesel organ, Sigvart Dagsland and Per Oystein Sorensen on background vocals and finally Per Hillestad - hi-hat and cymbals.
MTM hired their founding member Magnus Söderkvist (now Atenzia) to track down Aina in order to re-release this classic and he found her in the USA. "Living in a Boy’s World" is one of the better female fronted hard rock albums and a MUST for fans of Heart, Tone Norum, Joal, ERIKA etc.

Stryper / Reborn / MTM 0681 - 144


Stryper - The yellow and black attack is back! Tracklisting:Open your Eyes; Reborn; When did I see you cry; Make you mine; Passion; Live again; If I die; Wait for you; Rain; 10.000 Years; I.G.W.T.

I have always had a soft spot for christian hard rock rock bands - but especially Stryper with their catchy melodies and thundering drums and fierce guitar - I was more split regarding the sometimes annoying vocals;-) - but definitely worth waiting for almost 15 years.
And here on their come back album "Reborn" the Yellow & Black Attack is back - with an updated sound and 11 great songs regarding the love for Father, Son & the Holy Spirit... In my humble opinion it is great and worthy album - lifting the legacy of Stryper miles up in the sky! In fact I think the band really cathes the best from way-back-then with the new sound and tendencies here in the "new" century. The core in the band is still the two brothers Michael and Robert Sweet on vocals and drums supported by ace guitarist Oz Fox and new bass player Tracy Ferrie. Is is rather strange that on one hand Robert Sweet and Oz Fox has gone more heavy and from time to time "Punkish" - but on the other hand the soloes is more melodic and sweet - and Michael Sweet's voice is great. Just listen to a track like "Wait for you", there are a lot of guts in that one. But the album is filled with listenable tracks like "Open your Eyes" with a overall heavy production (heavier than before) - but my favorite is the title track "Reborn" with a delicate riff by Fox and Mr. Sweet screaming his lunges thin... but there are more balls in him nowadays!
In fact I think this release is step way back to their roots, just adding the modern sound - but putting the candyfloss refrains way back - like on "In God we Trust"- which I think is too soft! This is a great CD - welcome back Stryper I missed you choruses!

Melodic Meltdown / The Missing Link / Independent


Melodic Meltdown - Danish ace-guitarist Michael Søbygge with a little taster! Tracklisting:What I forgot...; Virulence.

Melodic Meltdown is first and foremost the project and vision of one Danish guitar player Michael Søbygge. The story goes back to 1995 when Søbygge & Co. decided to form a band - but the first album came out in 1997 in Søbygges own name and was an instrumental album called "Melodic Meltdown" and was recorded in London. The follow up album (also instrumental) called "No Words needed" amd was released 1998 - Søbygges flirt with instrumental albums ended in 2000 with "Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde". All available at
In 2003 Michael Søbygge and Co. formed a regular band (with different line ups though) and released "Second Skin" - and was rather successfull - as an independent release. This new appetizer EP is also released through independent canals - but can be fully downloaded here.
This EP only consists of 2 tracks "What I forgot..." and "Virulence" and shows the band in a new musical direction - their previous work was very heavy structured and almost symphonic, the new songs are more rock orientated than befor. The vocals are catchy and the guitar work is as solid as always. On this album Melodic Meltdown features the talents of Michael Søbygge on guitar, Jacob Froberg vocals, Andreas Hertz-Kendellen on bass and Martin Bech on drums. Check them out!

© Steen Peitersen 1999-2005