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Tuesday 31 January 2012

Out Of The Beyond 13

Full Strike: We Will Rise (2002)

This is the only album from former (then current) Hammerfall guitarist Stefan Elmgren's side project Full Strike. The album is slightly different to the straight up trad metal sound of his day job as comes from more of a thrash/speed metal base. The backing band are all excellent with singer Niclas Johnsson being a highlight Elmgren's guitar playing is tight and precise throughout playing speed riffage and razor-sharp solos. The album is a good old school speed metal album that will appeal to Hammerfall fans. 6/10
Cans: Beyond The Gates (2004)

Continuing the link this is the only solo album from Hammerfall singer Joacim Cans. The album features of cavalcade of some of the best metal players backing the powerful tonsils of Mr Cans. The guitarists are Metal Mike Chlasciak (Halford and who co-writes with Cans) and Stefan Elmgren with the bass being provided by the hardest working man in metal Mat Sinner (Primal Fear, Sinner and again co-writes). The tracks are all of great quality yet they all have a familiar Hammerfall sound because of Cans' distinctive pipes. Best track on the album however is the title track which features a solo from Firewind's Gus G and was co-written by Firewind's former singer David Chastain. This is a great album that will not do anything for those who don't like Hammerfall but for those who do it is a real treat. 7/10

Brian May: Back To The Light & Another World

Back To The Light

This is the first solo album from legendary Queen guitarist Brian May and starts with instrumental The Dark which features the signature tone and kicks into the great title track which has an almost gospel feel. The album features a myriad of styles featuring rock, pop, funk and soul. May handles nearly all of the instrumentation with his vocals being excellent and his guitar playing still being (one of) the best in the world the drums which are handled by Cozy Powell (R.I.P). The album has strong tracks in the likes of Driven By You, Love Token and Too Much Love Will Kill You (which was also recorded by Queen). This album is excellent and you can really see the talent that made Queen great and also you can see that Dr May himself is still open to exploring new frontiers. 8/10

Another World

This is the follow up and is a little heavier and features more covers than its predecessor and features rocking The Guv'nor, China Belle, Business and the evil sounding Cyborg. The amount of covers could come from the fact that Cozy Powell died during the recording. The best of the covers comes from his cover of All The Way From Memphis which features the talents of Ian Hunter. This album is slightly weaker than Back To The Light but is bolstered by May's talent. Another good solo album from the cornerstone of Queen. 7/10

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