Progressive, symphonic, power and hair metal collide on Last Tribe's third album, The Uncrowned. And the elements that made the Swedish band's Witch Dance from 2002 so much better than the 2001 debut, The Ritual — strong harmonies, tough keyboards, squealing guitars and crisp vocals — are at play once again.
Guitarist, keyboardist and band mastermind Magnus Karlsson continues his effortless blending of instruments into a powerhouse sound that doesn't allow one instrument to dominate. Of course, the risk Karlsson runs using that musical strategy is having some of these songs sound too similar. And, indeed, it's sometimes tough to distinguish which of these 10 majestic songs you're hearing if you're not paying attention to the track listing. If you allow yourself, though, you just may get sucked in by the likes of the title track, "The Chosen One," "Sound of Rain" and "Full Moon," with rousing group vocals and power chords galore.
Worth noting is that former Flower Kings drummer Jaime Salazar must prefer to bang his head more than he was allowed to in his previous band — hence, his significant contributions to The Uncrowned. And, thanks to production, mixing and mastering duties by Anders "Theo" Theander (Pain of Salvation, Majestic, Urban Tale), you know the album sounds as crystalline as it can.