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M.ill.ion; Sane And Insanity

I have been aware of M.ill.ion for a good few years now, but for some reason or other (maybe it's those annoying dots in their name?), I've never been compelled to actually go out of my way to hear their music. However after listening to Sane And Insanity, which is the seventh album from the Swedes, I may just have to start saving those pennies up to buy the rest of M.ill.ion's catalogue. Harder hitting than I expected, the M.iil.ion sound is expertly concocted melodic rock that verges on symphonic and power metal without ever losing its catchy, accessible edge. Singer Ulrich Carlsson has an exquisite tone, as he blends elements of David Coverdale, Klaus Meine and Mark Boals to produce a mighty roar that is always a joy to listen to whether he is hammering his way through the up tempo hard rock of "I Raise My Glass", or the more restrained and orchestral "Fuel To My Heart". The real stars of the show though are guitarist Andreas Grovle and keyboard maestro Angelo Modafferi, who amazingly are both recent additions to the band. The pair have gelled quite magnificently to form a sparring partnership that is so tight that this duo sound like they have been working together for years. A great example of how the two work together is "Cry To Heaven", where an almost Ozzy/Zakk Wylde like riff is brought into an altogether more melodic setting by the stabs and layers of keys that bring things into a more Deep Purple direction, with the end results being a classy hard hitting song that reminds of both acts mentioned without really sounding like either. Add to that some great solos from Andreas and M.ill.ion really have managed to make what could have been a tough transition into a remarkably smooth process.

There are plenty of highlights to go round with the dancing guitars and swirling keys of "Everyday Hero" or the Scorpions and Purple tinged "Hate", where Carlsson really shines, being among the pick of the bunch. That said though the one aspect of the M.ill.ion sound that I'm not quite sold on is their slight tendency to add an unwelcome Evanessence like vibe to tracks such as "Under Your Wings", with the string like keyboards detracting from an otherwise effective guitar workout.

Sane And Insanity is a strong collection of songs that show that M.ill.ion have a lot to offer metal fans from a variety of genres without every really compromising their heavy melodic rock attack and the album also manages to stands up to repeated listens reasonably well, which is an impressive feat in this genre these days. Not quite in the essential category, but that doesn't stop this album from being a worthy addition to any metal collection.

Track Listing
1. Sea Of Fate
2. Cry To Heaven
3. Everyday Hero
4. Tomorrow Never Dies
5. I Raise My Glass
6. Sane And Insanity
7. Hell's Gate
8. Under Your Wings
9. Fuel to My Heart
10. Drama Queens
11. Test Of Time
12. Hate
13. Seize The Day

Added: March 22nd 2011
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: M.ill.ion MySpace Page
Hits: 2617
Language: english

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