Artist:  Beautiful Sin
   Title: The Unexpected
   Label: AFM Records

Beautiful Sin is the dream child of Masterplan drum maestro Uli Kusch and Belgian singing sensation Magali Luyten.  The two met briefly in 2002 when Luyten’s band were seeking a producer for their new album, and although this never came about, Luyten had made such an impression of Kusch that when he was looking for a vocalist for a new project he immediately thought of Magali, and so the first seeds of Beautiful Sin were born.  The two are joined by Masteplan's Axel Mackenrott on keyboards and Pagans Mind's Jorn Viggo Lofstad on guitar and Steiner Krokmo on bass.

If first impressions are anything to go by than this album is going to be a monster.  From the opener ‘Lost’ the sheer splendour of Luyten’s voice is there for all to hear and admire.  This songstress has one of the most powerful female voices I’ve heard for a while.

The album continues with ‘This Is Not The Original Dream’, another very impressive track full of great tempo changes and a powerhouse rhythm section that adds to the magnificence of the track, together with Lofstad’s soaring guitars which add that extra spice to the song.

The heat is really turned up with the awesome ‘Take Me Home’, none of your contrasting male and female vocals here, it's all Luyten from the off as she really sings up a storm with this one.

The power of Steiner Krokmo’s bass opens up the next track ‘I’m Real’, a real barnstormer of a track with Uli Kusch powering through the drum sections like a knife through butter, splendid stuff.

As each track on the album keeps out doing the previous track, for fortitude and grace the next track ‘The Spark Of Ignition’ simple blows you away with its bombastic overtures and overall grandiose nature.

Things slow down just a touch as the band unveil their gentle side with ‘Closer To My Heart’, before it's back to the full on sound of ‘Give Up Once For All’.  If Closer To My Heart’ show the bands gentle side then ‘Give Up Once For All’ certainly shows the bands grittier side.

‘Brace For Impact’ is a track where the keyboards of Axel Mackenrott really shine.  This mixed with thumping bass of Krokmo, the rampaging drums of Kusch and the soaring guitars of Lofstad, all go to make this instrumental a real masterclass.

‘Pechvogel (Unlucky Fellow)' is another barnstormer with Luyten returning to the fold with some great vocals very reminiscent of Skin of Skunk Anansie.

But the metal onslaught of ‘Metalwaves’ has to be my favourite track off the album.  A real headbangers delight with some fantastic guitars once again by Lofstad and that rhythm section forever powering out the back beat, simply magnificent.

The album closes with another instrumental and the title track ‘Beautiful Sin’.  A haunting piece that is full of Nordic swagger.  You can imagine yourself sailing your long-ship through the fiords as the splendour of the natural architecture unfolds before your eyes.  Perhaps a little poetic but that’s what this tracks brings to my mind and one that rounds off a quite superb release.  Let's hope this alliance continues to another album and maybe a tour.  

 
Tracklisting:

1. Lost
2. This Is Not The Original Dream
3. Take Me Home
4. I'm Real
5. The Spark Of Ignition 
6. Close To My Heart
7. Give Up Once For All
8. Brace For Impact
9. Pechvogel (Unlucky Fellow)
10. Metalwaves
11. The Beautiful Sin

                  

 

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