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Erik Norlander


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Erik Norlander Into the Sunset album cover
3.56 | 44 ratings | 7 reviews | 9% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2000

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sunset Prelude (3:17)
2. Into the Sunset (5:34)
3. Rome Is Burning (6:05)
4. Fanfare for the Dragon Isle (0:50)
5. Fly (7:53)
6. Dreamcurrents (4:38)
7. Lines in the Sand (5:11)
8. On the Wings of Ghosts (10:29)
9. Hymn (1:18)
10. Into the Sunset (reprise) (1:32)
11. Sunset Postlude (2:25)

Bonus track:
12. Neurosaur (2000 new recording) (5:27)

Total Time 54:39

Line-up / Musicians

- Erik Norlander / keyboards, piano (8), guitar (2,7,10), bass (6), orchestral percussion, composer, arranger, producer

- Glenn Hughes / vocals (3)
- Lana Lane / lead (5,9) & harmony vocals
- Edward Reekers / vocals (2,5,8,10)
- Robert Soeterbroek / lead (7,8) harmony vocals
- Mark McCrite / harmony vocals
- Arjen Anthony Lucassen / electric & acoustic guitars (incl. all solos)
- Cameron Stone / cellos
- Tony Franklin / fretless bass, snare cadences
- Greg Ellis / drums, ethnic percussion, snare cadences, tanpura
- David Schiff / saxophone solo (12)

Releases information

Artwork: Judson Huss's "Return From Africa"

CD Transmission Records ‎-TM-022 (2000, Netherlands)

Digital album

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy ERIK NORLANDER Into the Sunset Music

ERIK NORLANDER Into the Sunset ratings distribution

(44 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(9%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(52%)
Good, but non-essential (32%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ERIK NORLANDER Into the Sunset reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by semismart
4 stars Ok, so you never heard of Erik Norlander. Hardly anyone has, at least on this side of the Atlantic. That doesn't mean he he hasn't been around. In fact Erik has made significant contributions on many, many albums of a progressive nature.

Erik, you see, is an extraordinary keyboard player, so if you're into keyboards, the way I am, you've got your man. Be it piano, organ or synthesizer, Erik may be the top in the world at his field. He's also an accomplished song writer and wrote all the songs on this album.

Now Erik doesn't have a band or belong to one (except sometimes with Rocket Scientists), He's sort of a hired gun, only his ivory isn't on pistol grips. He is a professional guest musician.

Erik was born and went to school in California but like many American Progressive artists such as Kamelot and Symphony X, he had to go where his fan base is. Erik and his California wife, singer Lana Lane appear to have found a home with an European connection to the Netherlands working with many very musically talented contemporaries and he has worked with numerous musicians in northern Europe.

Worked With: Lana Lane Arjen Anthony Lucassen Mark McCrite Neil Citron Ed Warby Don Schiff Mark Boals Tony Franklin Ayreon Damian Wilson Stephen Van Haestregt Robert Soeterboek Greg Ellis Gary Wehrkamp Oscar Holleman Virgil Donati Vinny Appice Floor Jansen Ambeon

Like I mentioned, Erik Norlander gets around. He's made numerous guest appearances on Arjen A. Lucassen's albums(Ayreon, Ambeon and Star One) and Arjen has returned the favor on Into the Sunset. He's also a member of the All Star Prog Rock/metal band, Rocket Scientists and the job that keeps him the busiest is writing, backing up for and touring with his singer wife, Lana Lane.

Guest vocalists: Glenn Hughes track 3 Lana Lane tracks 5/9 Edward Reekers tracks 2/5/8/10 Robert Soeterboek tracks 7/8 Into the Sunset is Erik Norlander's second solo album, one on which he uses a full band setup, including different guest vocalists. This is a method that his friend, Guitarest Arjen A. Lucassen utilizes on his albums(see Ayreon). Sunset features a bombastic fusion of hard-rock, heavy-metal and symphonic rock like several other European groups but with plenty of synthesizer soloing.

"Sunset Prelude" is an instrumental with impressive orchestral synthesizer and heavy guitar work. The melodic and rhythmic structure are great in the prelude, and there are occasions where Erik shows off his playing skills.

"Into the Sunset", the title track, is sung by Edward Reekers (Kayak, Ayreon), This is a real prog track with an interesting rhythm and a strong melody.

"Rome is Burning" is a powerful track, and the voice of Deep Purple's Glenn Hughes is so recognizable that it becomes almost a DP track! The blusy break in the middle, where the song slows down with the vocal interaction with Hughes and Lana is gorgeous.

"Fanfare for the Dragon Isle" is a short overture leading to,

"Fly" is a great song where Erik's wife Lana and sings in duplicate in answer to Reeker. It has both a slow and faster tempo. Opening as a heavy guitar dominated track, it suddenly dies down and becomes a beautiful rock ballad, of which the first verse is sung by a Reekers and Lana is responsible for the rest of the track, The excellent orchestration, the clever faster tempo parts and the various instrumental breaks make this a really monumental song.

"Dreamcurrents", another instrumental track which Norlander composed years ago by Erik. Predominantly the Piano and an accompanying cello. The refrain from Fly is used in parts of this very pretty mellow work.

"Lines in the Sand" guest vocal performance of Robert Soeterbroek and outstanding Hammond work here, along with some excellent guitar solos.

"On the Wings of Ghosts" singing on this track by Reekers and Soeterbroek. Ghosts is 10 minutes long, It starts out with a big gong then a violin, leading to an oriental sounding piano work and then synths all in the first three minutes. This is a long complex piece which varies between Classic and progressive sounds.

"Hymn" a hymn, sung by Lana simple but profound in it's simplicity.

"Into the Sunset Reprise" and "Sunset Postlude" is where the themes of the introductions return, thus, completing of the album.

"Neurosaur" The European version of the album contains this bonus track, a re-recording of Neurosaur, a track from his first solo album Threshold. Where in the original version this track was completely done on keyboards, now a large part is taken over by electric guitar, and bass guitar, providing the track much more interest.


Definitely something for everyone here with a very accessible sound on some songs and a more progressive sound on others. Great keyboards from Erik Norlander and great Guitars from Arjen A. Lucassen. What more could you ask for? Should you consider this for your collection? Assuredly!

Final rating 4.4 stars

Similar Artists

Rick Wakefield, Royal Hunt, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Ayreon

Review by b_olariu
3 stars I know this keyboard player from Lana Lane albums, and i'm amazed what he can do with keys. talking about his solo activity, and specialy this album, i find it a good one but has some parts who sounds like on Lana Lane albums. Of course is not bad, but not a 4 star album to me, sometime is to boring , same keys effects. After all tracks Fly and On the wings of a ghost is the highlight here. 3 stars to me
Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars Into The Sunset was the first Erik Norlander solo album I bought. I already knew him from his fantastic work on the keyboards on his wife´s records, the great singer Lana Lane. So it was no surprise it was an excellent efford. Incredibly, Norlander does not make an all and out keyboard driven CD: he definitly has a more band member mind. So the music comes first and virtuosity second. he could do a very ego trip, certainly he does have the chops to do such a thing, but fortunatly his work has enough room for the other musicians to shine. And, besides, with axemen like Arjen Anthony Lucassen (Ayreon, Star One) on guitar and Tony Franklin (The Firm) on bass, plus singers that inlcude the legendary Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple) and Lana Lane on vocals, how could he not?

Of course this album has its faults, the song Rome Is Burning (sung by Hughes) sounds too heavy when put together with the rest of the tracks. It is not a bad song, on the contraty, a great rocking number, very much in the vein of Deep Purple. But the rest of the CD is quite different and progressive, making this tune sit rather awkwardly between the others. Anyway, Into The Sunset is still a fine prog album, showing off Norlander´s great songwriting ability and musical prowness. Highlights? The beautiful instrumental Dreamcurrents (fine cello arrangement here), the powerful Lines On The Sand (very good vocals by Robert Soeterbroek) and the epic On The Wing Of Ghosts (many shifting moods, wonderful keyboards textures and a duelling guitar solo by Lucassen). Varied and creative. Not a single bad track or filler.

As usual the album was produced, arranged and engineered by Erik Norlander himself. Another excellent work of one of prog´s best keyboardists to appear in the last decade. Highly recommended.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Most people recognize Erik Norlander under power metal scene because his association with Lana Lane as well as his collaborative effort with Arjen Lucassen of AERYON fame. This second album "Into The Sunset" has similar style with Aeryon where the contribution of melody is crucial in the music. This is what so called song-orientated music. Having oriented on song this album generates music that can be digested by those who love straight rock music. In addition to that, Erik brings forward famous singers like Glenn Hughes (of Deep Purple fame), Edward Reekers (of Kayak fame). The appearance of Arjen Lucassen creates music style which is quite similar with Lucassen's Aeryon.

The album starts nicely with an excellent instrumental "Sunset Prelude" (3:17) which sets the overall tone of the album. It's quite interesting introduction / overture. It flows seamlessly to "Into The Sunset" (5:34) which basically a nice upbeat music in power metal style but in a digestible way. Having been blasted with two energetic tracks the music flows into third track with more energy in "Rome Is Burning" (6:05). Vocal department demonstrates its best in this composition and moves it all the way, beautifully, from beginning to end.

"Fanfare For The Dragon Isle" (0:50) serves like a bridge to connect beautifully to another excellent track "Fly" (7:53). This track has a great keyboard work in the vein of Rick Wakeman and very nice melody sung by Lana Lane. This is probably the track that most people would enjoy listening to it because it's really catchy and has a great composition. I like the musical break where Erik plays piano solo. Right after this piano solo he plays keyboard in Keith Emerson style followed with keyboard solo in Wakeman solo. "Dreamcurrents" (4:38) has a solid classical component with solo keyboard / piano combined with cello.

"Lines In The Sand" (5:11) is another excellent track with Hughes takes the lead vocal work. The key characteristic of this song is the solid rhythm section containing nice guitar riffs combined with nice keyboard solo. The Lucassen style is so obvious here. I really like this song because the combined guitar riffs and keyboard solo plus nice singing melody are really beautiful. "On The Wings Of Ghosts" (10:29) starts ambient with sound effects and cello work followed nicely with piano work and the music that blast after it. Erik demonstrates his skills in organ sound and keyboard here. The intro part is really fabulous.

Overall, this album is really interesting in terms of blending the rhythm section which is mainly guitar riffs produced by Arjen Lucassen, song melody, and keyboard solo. There is no such weak song from start to end. All of them flow nicely from start to end and make a pleasant listening. The energy produced by the music is very good. Keep on proggin' ?!

Peace on earth and mercy mild ? GW

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
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)

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Among his usual obligations in Lana Lane's albums and after the fourth album of Rocket Scientists Norlander found time to write a second solo work, ''Into the sunset''.This was released in 2000 on the Dutch label Transmission Records and features an expanded line-up compared to the previous Norlander album, teammates Greg Ellis and Mark McCrite helped out on drums and vocals respectively, Tony Franklin is on bass, the experienced Arjen Anthony Lucassen is on guitars and Cameron Stone provides the cello parts.Lead and harmony vocals are sung by an impressive guest list, Lana Lane, Kayak's Edward Reekers, Glenn Hughes and Robert Soeterboek.With so many guest musicians and singers, the album was recorded at four fifferent studios worldwide.

Change of label and the singning with the more Metal-oriented Transmission Records along with the presence of Arjen Anthony Lucassen rises suspicions about the album's direction.Norlander makes it clear already from the first few pieces that this has nothing to do with the sound of ''Threshold''.The music is much heavier and bombastic compared to the previous album, a step away from Norlander's Prog Rock roots and towards a style between fiery Hard Rock and orchestral Prog Metal.Of course his keyboard work is so good to exhibit it in a seminar, full of cinematic flashes, 70's-styled organs and pompous synthesizers with a sound somewhere between the runs of Lord with DEEP PURPLE and the virtuosic parts of DREAM THEATER, but the addition of guitars along with the an obvious tendency towards Hard Rock rhythm and lead parts show a different side of Norlander.Touches of DEEP PURPLE, URIAH HEEP and RAINBOW combine with the modern sound of Prog Metal and Heavy Prog to offer music swirling around punchy riffs, extended keyboard solos but also some melodic content and atmospheric breaks.Despite the most straightforward direction the album sounds very tight and inspired with some great instrumental and vocal work, while the proggy vibes are not of course totally lost, there are lots of great tempo changes, instrumental variety and keyboard majesty in here, delivered via Norlander's love for an E.L.P.-like dense, symphonic sound.

Good work for fans of the harder side of Prog, which still retains some of Norlander's qualities towards keyboard-drenched Symphonic Rock.Extremely bombastic and pompous material with a rich sound and a good balance between instrumental and lyrical parts.Recommended.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Keyboard deity Erik Norlander's "Into The Sunset" is a deep, massive, and masterful set of super-charged melodic art rock, a more artfully intense version of the brilliant symphonic metal he creates as the cornerstone instrumentalist on Lana Lane's many sensational albums. Unsurprisingly, the pe ... (read more)

Report this review (#5182) | Posted by | Thursday, July 8, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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