Never wanting to stand still in his profession, Lion Music founder Lars Eric Mattsson has resurrected his Book of Reflections project. Relentless Fighter is the third album, nearly six years removed from the last.
To say that Relentless Fighter is generic melodic progressive power metal or typical of Mattsson is not to be condescending or cliche. It is to say that you know what you're going to get from this prolific composer and fine guitar player. Here are ten well-crafted arrangements emphasizing those skills, especially Mattsson's neo-classical fret work. Vocals are provided by two veterans, Carsten 'Lizard' Schulz and Markku Kuikka. Their styles are nearly similar to be indistinguishable across the album.
With these basic things said, it took me more than a spin or two to appreciate Relentless Fighter. The reason was simply that is that this album is exactly as I said earlier: generic to the genre and typical of Mattsson. All this did was beg the question, Haven't I heard this all before? The answer is yes. But in lesser hands, Relentless Fighter would be average material. Second listens arouse interest and bring real entertainment. Is this some of Mattsson's best work. Not necessarily. 2010's Tango was better, and epic stuff. Best cuts here: Without My Angel, Angel Shed a Tear, Keep Us Afloat, and Rise Up.