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Jens Johansson - The Last Viking CD (album) cover


Jens Johansson


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.02 | 6 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
2 stars I remember when this album was released in Brazil with a different (and much better) cover. I bought it without even listening to it because I thought there were simply too many excellent musicians involved to be a bad record. Well, I learned two things after that: first, I should have listened to The Last Viking before I spent my hard earned money on it. Second, even excellent musicians working together dontīt exactly mean itīll always turn out into an excellent work.

Granted: itīs not really a bad record. But when you think of all these fantastic people playing, one would expect something at least very good. Jens Johansson had made quite a name for himself playing with Ingwie Malmsteenīs Rising Force (together with his brother Anders, also featured here) and, especially, Stratovarius. Michael Romeo (Symphony X) is one prog metalīs best guitarists and singer Göran Edman (once also a Malmsteenīs Rising Force member and now on Karmakanic, among others) has a great voice. Quite a dream team for this kind of work.

However, The Last Viking suffers from a very bad production (the bass is almost inaudible) and a lack of strong songwriting. Some parts are good, like the second track. Burning Eyes, that reminds of good latter day Deep Purple stuff. But most of the time the songs just sound disappointingly short, not well arranged and many seem to be half baked. I donīt know about Johanssonīs other, more Jazz rock oriented, works, but this one didnīt convince me at all. Romeo is seldom heard, unlike anything he has ever done before or since. A truly waste of great musicianship.

If youīre a fan of the guys who play here, let me warn you: listen before buying. It might spare you from the big disappointment I had at the time. Rating: two stars because of some (brief) good moments. This one is for collectors and completionists only.

Tarcisio Moura | 2/5 |


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