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Lars Eric Mattsson - Into the Unknown CD (album) cover


Lars Eric Mattsson


Progressive Metal

2.13 | 4 ratings

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2 stars Lars Eric Mattsson is a progressive metal solo artist from Finland who is another amazing guitar artist of which there are several out there. His style is a mix of highly technical and melodic heavy rock, his melodies and music have an original sound, but tend to lean on the accessible end of progressive metal, sometimes going for the softer edge and other times just letting everything open up to full-bore metal.

"Into the Unknown" is his 14th full length album, released in May of 2019 (the vinyl version will be released in June). Lars plays almost all of the instruments and does the vocals on this album, but has also recruited Christer Jansson for the drums and Alexander King for piano and keyboard solos.

As expected, the music is heavily guitar based and most of the tracks have Lars vocals on them. The part of this that I find annoying is the use of the auto-tune processing. I would rather hear a bad singer than hear one using this method that leaves a canned and fake sound to it. The fact that most of the tracks here have vocals make this an even bigger deal than it normally would be.

On the instrumental side of things, there are some excellent guitar solos, and he even gives time to some tricky bass solos and keyboard solos, but all of the instrumental sections are short. The melodies are occasionally progressive with quirky rhythms and melodies that don't always follow the standard formulas. All fifteen tracks are under the 5 minute marks, so they remain radio-ready, so there really isn't the progressive development you would like to hear.

There are some tracks that start off quite well, but they always tend to go downhill quickly when the processed vocals start. There are a few instrumentals here, namely "Epilogue of a Broken Heart", "Too Close to the Sun", "Cry of a Leo" and "'57 Chevy", but each one of those tracks is just over one minute long and seem to always just get cut off at the end. Most people that love the "guitar god" albums also love to hear instrumentals that show off the performer's skills. Personally, I tend to think they start to all sound the same, so I also listen for variety and compositional skills. In this album, there isn't enough of any of this, the instrumentals are too short, the songs are under developed and try to lean towards accessibility, and there is too much emphasis on vocals, and that processing just ruins everything.

Even though Lars is talented, it just doesn't show much in this album. If you are a fan, I would imagine you would want this album anyway, but for me, it doesn't have the best of what I look for in progressive music, in metal music, or in progressive metal music. I only recommend this album for fans.

TCat | 2/5 |


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