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Big City: Big City Life
Big City - Big City Life Album Music Review

Big City: Big City Life

Melodic Hard Rock/Metal

Big City arrives from Norway as the musical expression for guitarist and principal songwriter, Daniel Olaisen (Scariot, Blood Red Throne, ex-Satyricon). His crew includes some talented Scandi musicians with much musical experience including vocalist Jan Le Brandt (Memoria Avenue, Northquake), guitarist Frank Orland (ex-Scariot), bassist Miguel Pereira Withem), and drummer Frank Nordeng Roe (Withem, Maraton). Big City returns with their second album, Big City Life, which includes their 2013 debut, Wintersleep, released previously but only in a digital format. Another very good reason to get this album: double your money's worth.

Big City Band Photo Click For Larger Image

Big City

Another good reason to buy this album is simply the quality of the music. Essentially, Big City plays Eighties melodic hard rock, with a notable metal edge, and then wraps both neatly in AOR accessibility. Being a band formed by a guitarist you can expect an emphasis upon sharp riffs, but also twin guitar harmony, and then killer solos. Most of the metal edge comes from the strong riffage, yet also a potent rhythm section which delivers both power and groove. For his part, vocalist Jan Le Brandt has a strong presence, singing smooth, melodic, and clean. He knows his range and sticks to it; expect now screamo shit here.

As for the songs, for both sharp and big riffs, and also thrilling guitar solos, listen for Big City Life, Stars Surrounding, and the brisk Running For Your Life. Sometimes Big City likes to trip you up at the start of song. For instance, both Daemon In The Dark and From This Day start with vocals over light electric guitar, before ripping into fierce riffage and heavier melodic hard rock. But even these songs have lighter moments within. With Forgive Me, Big City drops a ballad which turns largely on voice over acoustic guitar, yet still rises as it flows forward. Curiously, it's the only song without a guitar solo. Huh. Similar is the closing song, Home Again with more acoustic guitar and voice, yet rising to a stronger hard rock anthem and a slight guitar solo about the three minute mark. All said, Big City's Big City Life is simply a strong and entertaining album, some very fine AOR melodic hard rock with some metal vigor. Easily recommended.

BTW: If you're wondering why I made no mention of the songs from Wintersleep, it was not for lack of interest, but time. I intend to listen to the debut album sometime in the future, at my leisure, but will not be reviewing it. I have no doubt that it will probably be as equally entertaining as Big City Life. Cheers! - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

The Bottom Line

Big City's Big City Life is simply a strong and entertaining album, some very fine AOR melodic hard rock with some metal vigor. Easily recommended.

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