Artist:  Book Of Reflections
   Title: Relentless Fighter
   Label: Lion Music

'Relentless Fighter' is the third of the Book Of Reflections albums and takes over where the debut Book of Reflection and the follow up 'Unfold The Future' left off.

Joining Lars Eric Mattsson on this release are two mighty vocals talents with Carsten ‘Lizard’ Shultz, joined by Markku Kuikka, who deliver the perfect vocal mix to compliment the six string wizardry of Mattsson on this Neo-Classical journey.

To be honest this album is more in line with the sound of self-titled debut release, more listener friendly, whereas the second album tended to deviate up many forks on the road without seeming to stick to a particular path.

The album opens up with ‘Until The Day’ with Schultz delivering his trade mark golden vocals from the off, with Mattsson doing what he does best, by taking the guitar to extremes that would make the average guitar players heads spin, as he makes it sing to his tune and shows who's the master.

Kuikka makes his present felt on the next song ‘Dance With The Devil’, another riff laden Neo-Classical Metal this time with a little Progressive edge.

The spell-binding licks continue with the harder edged ‘Angel Shed A Tear’, upon which Shultz delivers the goods as he and Mattsson jostle for dominance on the track.  Man Vs. Guitar  ... and the winner is us, the listener.  Powerful stuff!

There is more than a touch of the Progressive Metal on ‘Bleeding Dry’, with Kuikka adding a dark edged vocal to this one.  Heavy rhythms and soaring keyboards, before it's back to the all out Neo-Classical Metal of ‘Rise Up’, with Mattsson laying down some of the beast solo’s on the entire album.

The mix of Neo-Classical and Progressive Metal elements is never more dominant with the superb ‘Crashing Through’, then it’s a complete change of pace for the bass ridden ‘Somewhere Else To Be’, before bringing in a heavier tone with the almost Middle Eastern feel of the multi-layered instrumental ‘Gates Of Oblivion’, where Mattsson lets his fingers run riot on the fret-board as only he can.

This leads nicely into the more traditional Melodic Metal of ‘Keep Us Afloat', before the album closes with another twist, this time a touch of Spanish guitar that leads this slow burner and rounds off the album in true style.

When you hear or see the words Neo-Classical Metal, some run and hide and think six string masturbation, but Mattsson has re-written the rule book with 'Relentless Fighter' and once again shows Neo-Classical Metal can be very listenable and this is an album you can go back to time an time again.  One of the finest from the genre in recent years. 

Tracklisting:

1. Until The Day
2. Dance With The Devil
3. Angel Shed A Tear
4. Bleeding Dry
5. Rise Up!
6. Crashing Through
7. Somewhere Else To Be
8. Gates Of Oblivion
9. Keep Us Afloat
10. Without My Angel
 

                   

 

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