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Erik Norlander - Into The Sunset  CD (album) cover

INTO THE SUNSET

Erik Norlander

 

Neo-Prog

3.57 | 34 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars Into the sunset... riding on a rhinoceros!

Erik Norlander's primary influences on this album seem to flow from two main sources: On the one hand, he follows in the footsteps of classic Heavy Rock and Neo-Classical Metal acts like Deep Purple, Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, and Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force. On the other hand, he follows virtuoso Symphonic Prog-keyboardists like Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman. Both sides appeal to me and this does indeed make for a very good mix. Though the album's Classic Rock side has a bit more in common with the Deep Purple of the Glenn Hughes-era (Hughes does indeed guest on this album!) and the Rainbow of the Joe Lynn Turner-era than with the more progressive eras of those great bands and the Prog side has more in common with an Emerson or Wakeman solo album than with anything by ELP or Yes. Emerson's recent work with Marc Bonilla in the Keith Emerson Band comes especially to mind (as it is rockier than ELP) and the lead vocals by Glenn Hughes reinforces the Classic Rock feel of the disc. Still, this is a great album and my favourite out of Norlander's studio albums. The presence of Arjen Anthony Lucassen, and Norlander's wife Lana Lane gives further hints of what to expect here.

The music is melodic and features strong vocal and instrumental performances. It is perhaps not the most original, or most progressive, but it is wholly enjoyable from start to finish and showcases both Norlander's skill as a keyboard player and as a composer. Needless to say, the music is heavily keyboard-dominated and will appeal to fans of keyboard-driven heavy Rock with strong progressive touches. I belong to this group myself and enjoy almost all of Norlander's music (including his work with Rocket Scientists and especially with Lana Lane). I initially rated this with three stars, but decided to raise my rating to four stars after the album had proved its staying power.

Norlander's best solo studio album (though my #1 favourite album of his remains the live album Stars Rain Down)

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |

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