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Book of Reflections - Chapter II: Unfold the Future CD (album) cover


Book of Reflections


Progressive Metal

2.78 | 4 ratings

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usa prog music
2 stars Book of Reflections is a project band put together by guitar virtuoso Lars Eric Mattsson, and the first version of this project released an album back in 2004. On this sophomore release from 2006 Mattsson has assembled a crew of musicians to record an album, trying to be slightly more progressive in style than what the debut was.

Musically the main foundation here are traditional power metal. The general style of this release is classic power metal with a technical approach, of the kind that bands started developing in the mid eighties. There is a certain mix of styles on this release, with some tracks based on hard rock rather than metal, but the metal is the foundation and the hard rock based tracks are the variation. And yeah, you'll find some ballads here, too.

What sets this release slightly apart from other releases of this genre, are the structure of the songs here. The songs are mostly quirky, with quirky drum patterns or riff patterns, a creative mix of mellow playing and metal playing, some asynchrony-sounding themes and a general approach to the playing that requires solid technical skill to execute.

But the songs as such aren't as solid as the skills required to play them in this case. And some weak vocal performance in places makes the end result here somewhat weaker than it should have been.

"Unfold the Future" starts of this album with some quirky, fast paced power metal. "Bringer of the Torch" is a slightly calmer effort, a catchy tune dominated by staccato guitar riffs and some nice keyboards. Highlight of the album in my opinion. "Free My Soul" is a smooth power metal song with a strong neo-classical feel to it, with some rather weak vocals making it less interesting than it should have been.

"Heal Me" is a power ballad type of song with some slight oriental touches musically, and another tune where the vocal performance is lacking in my opinion. "Uncover the Lie" is dominated by quirky staccato riff patterns and some nice synth soloing, and is an okay-ish tune. "Ashes to Ashes" has a synth dominated verse moving on to power metal for the last part of verse and chorus, and is another okay-ish tune. "Make Sure You Don't Fall" is a quite interesting slow melodic power metal tune let down by weak vocal delivery.

"Deep Inside" is a quirky affair with asynchrony touches to it - well executed but more of a technical exercise than a good song. "Blink of an Eye" is an okay-ish ballad with guitar, synths and vocals only that lacks variation to be real good. "Got to Get Low" is a quirky hard rock based tune that could have been a strong tune with better vocals. "Love Conquers All" is a ballad that evolves into a power ballad, and could have been a much better tune with better vocal delivery.

All in all it's not a bad release as such, but there are too many weak elements to make this a strong album, at least in my opinion. Fans of power metal in general, and especially those who like their power metal having a high level of technicality to it, should be the ones getting most pleasure out of this one.

usa prog music | 2/5 |


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