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What great musicians! Stefan Elmgren, Matt Sinner, Metal Mike, Fredrik Larsson, Mark Zonder of Warlord and of course Joakim Cans himself. These are the names of the chefs and the main dish is heavy metal. We have alot of spices, with a dash of Hammerfall, a dash of Halford (the band), a small pinch of Sinner and Primal Fear and little little bit of Yngwie Malmsten in some of the solos, but that's no suprise with Elmgren in the line up and he's not stuck in the Hammerfall form.Cans voice is stronger and has a lot more attitude then in Hammerfall. His jump in with Warlord did him good, or perhaps it was that shit head who broke tha beer glass over his face that did the trick.
For those who have not yet heard this, if you think it sounds like Hammerfall you are wrong, wrong, wrong. If Hammerfall is a soup, the Cans is a hamburger, but with not that much meat, but with more of a vegetable mix on the top that represents the melodies, the almost classic metal lyrics, sweet female lyrics on the track "The Key" and the almost sugar sweet ballad "Forever Ends". But I don't mean that in a bad way, no no. With so many great talents that plays different, but yet so much alike.
When you mix different things it could either be succes or it could be disaster. In this case it's for the better. You can hear so many different elements in the tracks, jazzie bass riffs between the verse and the choir, dark heavy keyboard riffs in the beggining of "Fields of yesterday", the all together darker, gloomier atmospher then on any Primal Fear or Hammerfall record. Another thing you can hear even more on this then on an Hammerfall record is the classic riffs and melodies from the 80's, with almost no dubbel bass from the exellent drummer Mark Zonder.
And when you record your first solo album there is just one place to go to if you play heavy metal, and that is Studio Fredman. Perfect sound, everything falling in place just like it should.
But why don't I give it 100% then if there is nothing wrong with it? Very simple, everything is not great on this album. I am actally kind of dissapointed when I heard it. I expected more out of these guys. The are good, really really good, but the songs just doesn't get stuck. It's heavy metal but it could be even heavier then this. It comes half way and then it slows down, almost stops. i really don't know why this didn't get better, but it's far far away from being bad. Buy the record and find out for your self.
Bonus: The limited edition of the record contains the video to "Red light"
Ear cathers: Fields of yesterday, Red Light, Back to hell, Garden of evil
Not ear cathers: Forever ends, The Key
The rest of the 6 tracks comes somewhere in the middle, not bad, neither good.
Any "Hammerfall" veteran can earily pick up this album and figure out what it is, and who it is. The name of the band itself, "Cans", leaves many wondering just what the hell this is? Is it speed metal, power metal, garbage...is it metal at all? Well, it's power metal, and it's very familiar...
For every ultimate good, there must be an ultimate evil. If you put in any "Hammerfall" album, you are greeted with a fantastical world of victorious war and fantasies. However, Joacim Cans (the world renown vocalist of "Hammerfall") is the inspiration behind the band that adorns his last name. But this album isn't about victories, wars and rainbow bridges. No sir. Though it retains just about every element of the band that helped make him, it holds some key differences.
The haunting keyboard melodies here and there throughout the album retain a slightly haunting appeal to these powerful tracks, but also leave one to wonder what direction the album is. Right from the start, you get a feeling of an evil trip into a fantasy realm. And the lyrics prove it even more so.
Ok, so the lyrics aren't as dark and morbid to prove an ultimate evil, but for any fans of Cans himself, it will prove to be so comparing it to his previous works. The blisteringly melodic darkened power metal songs will keep you throwing your fist in the air, and the slow power ballads will calm you down through the trip. There is just one question any metal fan will ask. Jeff Waters of Annihilator is mentioned in the thank you section, and a "Waters" co-wrote the last track on the album? Could it be?
The only downfall with the album is the slower songs. Joacim's vocals are great with the electric guitar and slow drum works behind just about every song he works with, but hearing an almost acapella version of his vocals can get on your nerves. While the albums music is amazing almost all of the time, the lyrics are lacking somewhat. Though imaginative, they don't quite hold the edge that he is trying to convey. And the constant pictures of him and no one else throughout the insert booklet...UGH!
Other then that, if you are a fan of power metal, you should definately check this album out. If you cannot stand Joacim Cans, then you might want to shy away from this EXTREMELY high priced dark fantasy album. If that is the most orgasmic music you ever heard, it will definately be worth breaking your metal budget. May the ultimate evil prevail with blistering music...and poor acapella tunes!
But, yet, not as good as it could have been. I mean, HammerFall-style music is to me expected, what with Cans and Elmgren both being on this album, but the music is consistently better than HammerFall's cheesy riffing.
The songs are pretty heavy, and have good riffs, but are still lacking something important. The first half of the album is the best, with the songs being more consistent in being good music, but once you get to The Key, and, more importantly Silent Cries, is when you get into what I like to call the 'ballad zone.'
Basically, this is where all power metal songs go really puffy, and they can't stop it. They contain cheesy lyrics, the music becomes really terrible, as in your stereotypical acoustic guitar, with light drumming, and the vocalist signing far too high for his own good. And, this album, does unfortunately suffer from that.
If it wasn't for the last half/third of the album, this would be a really good power metal album, and if Joacim didn't have the HammerFall legacy behind him, maybe he could've gotten away with it, but, I'm sorry, no..