For nearly 20 years, vocalist and guitarist Oliver Hartmann has been active in the European hard rock and heavy metal scene. From the founding of At Vance to collaborative efforts like Tobias Sammet's Avantasia to Rock Meets Classic, more recently, Hartmann has been a musical journey tour-de-force. Then there's his solo work as Hartmann, the latest is Shadows & Silhouettes, a collection of AOR melodic rock songs.
I find it curious that a fellow who had his start in melodic heavy metal, then with a host of similar collaborations, dials it down to play essentially lighter music. Not that it matters all that much. It may simply be the Jekyll to his metal Hyde. There's nothing necessarily hard and heavy about the songs within this album. On the contrary, it's mostly, nearly pop friendly, lighter ballads with a few radio ready rockers tossed in the mix.
Irresistible, stealing a page from Robert Palmer, High On You, and I Would Murder For You jump with rock bounce and groove. Alternatively, songs such as Glow, Still The Same, Last Goodbye, and the Yes sounding The Letting Go, draw down to softer smoother tones with Hartmann sounding his most soulful. Then there's the wild card of When Your Mama Was A Hippie. At first glance I was expecting some bluesy psychedelic song revisiting the Sixties. But no. It's a breezy song, with a West Coast feel, lead by acoustic guitar and strong vocal arrangement. If anything more, it's nostalgic. Perhaps Oliver's mom was a hippie? Basically, Shadows & Silhouettes picks up where Balance left off: lighter AOR melodic songs, often melancholic ballads, with a few rockers thrown in for good measure. There's much to be said for consistency.
Basically, Shadows & Silhouettes picks up where Balance left off: lighter AOR melodic songs, often melancholic ballads, with a few rockers thrown in for good measure. There's much to be said for consistency.
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 ]