Aktor is the collaborative effort of American Chris Black (High Spirits, Dawnbringer, et al) and two Finish musicians, Jussi Lehtisalo and Tomi Leppänen (Circle, Pharaoh Overlord, and many more). While I'm not familiar with much of the latter's work, Black's High Spirits has crossed my desk twice. This, in turn, led me to expect that Aktor would be interesting and different.
For the most part their first full-length album, Paranoia is both, but also explores some familiar territory for Black. Not unlike High Spirits, Aktor turns on a foundation of early hard rock and proto-metal, with a touch of psychedelic rock. Aktor throws in some old school organ and quirky synths at times that give the music a certain 70's feel. At times they remind me of very Blue Oyster Cult, only faster at times, and way more trippy. Certainly in the mysterious and quizzical lyrics they find a camaraderie with that famous New Jersey band. Six Silver Guns is an example of that, and that touch of speed. Better, for speed, is Something Nasty, which moves like heavy metal punk rock. Some of that trippy weirdness comes with I Was The Son of God, thanks to the popcorn Atari sounding keyboards within. Where Is Home has some more keyboard quirkiness, which fits nicely beside the psychedelic, even eerie, guitar parts. Yet, underneath all the strangeness, Aktor still offers an abundance of melody and catchy rock groove. Maybe it's possible to toss around a 'progressive' rock description to the music. In the end, Aktor's twist on early rock and proto-metal is familiar, different, and experimental, in that quirky sort of way only artists can play with madness.
Aktor's twist on early rock and proto-metal is familiar, different, and experimental, in that quirky sort of way only artists can play with madness.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]