After several decades in the music business and 22 recordings, composer, guitarist, producer, and Lion Music owner Lars Eric Mattsson isn't slowing down. Epicentre is his 23rd album, and the creative Mattsson has more than a few tricks up his progressive rock sleeve.
Not the least of which is taking to the microphone himself to sing on all of the 15 vocal tracks on this 18 track album. He give this a go only a few times in the past. Mattsson admits that he only found his 'voice' half way through the recording process, and then started over. His 'voice' is melodic, but definitely a little gruff and gritty. He's definitely a better composer and musician than a singer.
Another notable aspect, a difference if you will, of Epicentre is that the songs are shorter than usual, say, versus 2010's wonderful Tango. Mattsson says this was intentional. Most songs clock in around three to four minutes.
Perhaps the most intriguing thing about the album is Mattsson's diverse and eclectic song creation. But that's hardly news. His energy and creativity is boundless, making him a musical wizard. You can read about the songs in Mattsson's track-by-track description (PDF). Suffice to say that this is some exquisite melodic progressive rock that expresses Mattsson sharp song composition and skillful musicianship. (He plays everything except the drums.) You can listen to samples from the album below.
But here's a few highlights. For some crafty pure prog Wait for the Sunrise and Freedom Fighters (one of three instrumentals) are choice numbers, the latter with some of Mattsson's most fiery fret work. Within A New Devil, he blends electric and acoustic guitar with some dobro for an appealing musical cocktail. There's definitely blues/jazz shuffle to Too Late, and some real electric blues with Scratch My Back. Another instrumental, South of the Border is an odd bird as it sounds like one long withering guitar solo. It's not the most pleasing track here, but in lesser hands, it probably would have been butchered.
Some final comments. A curious thing you'll notice is that there is no pause, or brief silent segue, between most songs. Mattsson plays, stops, and then jumps right in again. The number and length of the album, 18 songs at nearly 70 minutes, makes for a rather large consumption in one listen. But Mattsson notes that this was intentional as all the songs point to where he is in his musical journey. Epicentre is another accomplished and creative recording from a quite talented musician. Easily recommended.
Mattsson's Epicentre is another accomplished and creative recording from a quite talented musician.
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