M.ILL.ION is one of those bands that I knew something of, but was never able to get my hands on one of their recordings, until now. 'Thrill Of The Chase' is M.ILL.ION's first studio album since 2004's 'Kingsize.' Kingsize is a good way to describe their sound: it's large, loud and extravagant. Their melodic rock, which resembles a mixture of Deep Purple (faster) and Whitesnake (more complex), is driven by two powerful forces. One is the immensely intense rhythm section of bass player B.J. Laneby (founding member) and drummer Per Westergren who pounds the skins with the power and strength of a veteran like Tommy Aldridge. The second force is equally impressive vocals Ulrich Carlsson; his vocals are a big as M.ILL.ION's sound. This is not to say that remaining to members are slouches. Johan Bergquist's keyboard play is versatile and he's given plenty of room to play. In young guitarist Jonas Hermansson you can hear both talent and showmanship. Now, on to the music.
It takes a lot of guts for a melodic rock band to begin an album with song without a guitar solo. But that is exactly what M.ILL.ION did on the title track. The lead is handled adeptly by keyboardist Bergquist. However, you won't have to wait long to hear some ripping fret work. 'Menace To Society' shines as the finest song on the album: artfully melodic and very catchy. Carlsson's vocals are enthusiastic and powerful. And, with a great solo, we have a foretaste of Hermansson's exceptional guitar skills. Another noteworthy track is 'The One Above' where again Bergquist's layered and rollicking keyboard play, carefully combined with Hermansson's guitar, drives the song. You hear more of Hermansson's work on 'Lonely In A Crowded Room,' a very good song. However, he really shines on 'U.F.O.,' possibly the hardest rocking number on the album; from beginning to end Hermansson rules the song. 'Son Of The Son' is another cut that exudes power, melody, and great riffs. Though it fools you with its quiet beginning, for shear speed, 'Beware Of Wolf' blisters along at a breathtaking pace. Overall, 'Thrill Of The Chase,' is a satisfying melodic hard rock album. There were a couple a songs that left me disappointed, only because they seemed ordinary, including 'From Heaven To Hell' and 'Fires Of Siberia.' However, these songs still fit and will not ruin and incredibly enjoyable listening experience.
I'm glad I finally got my hands on a M.ILL.ION album. You don't want to miss 'Thrill Of The Chase.' It's a massive work with a huge melodic hard rock sound. M.ILL.ION effortlessly mixes power and melody to keep you enthusiastic from beginning to end. Very recommended.
- Craig Hartranft
Blistering and powerful describes M.ILL.ION's huge melodic rock sound. 'Thrill Of The Chase' is a profound and exciting work, the best they have done yet. Listen for Ulrich Carlsson's powerful vocals and Johan Bergquist's rich and versatile keyboard work. Really good stuff!