Sea Of Tranquility

The Web Source for Progressive Rock, Progressive Metal & Jazz-Fusion
  Search   in       
Main Menu

Fatal Fusion: Land of the Sun

Another fantastic debut album has found its way across my listening desk in the form of Norway's Fatal Fusion and their album Land of the Sun. These five Norwegian musicians are Knut E. Grøntvedt (vocals), Stig Selnes (guitars, backing vocals), Erlend Engebretsen (keyboards, backing vocals), Lasse Lie (bass) and Audun Engebretsen (drums, percussion, backing vocals).

Land of the Sun is one of those albums that I loved right from the start. Some albums take time to grow but this one is immediate while still retaining lots of progressive moments throughout. The band plays '70s inspired classic rock with heavy doses of symphonic prog and is as catchy as anything I have heard in a long time. Some of the band's influences include Deep Purple, Kansas and Led Zeppelin to name but a few.

The album contains eight tracks with a couple over ten minutes in length. Some of the shorter tracks are a little less complicated but are very well played and quite accessible with great melodies and strong song writing. The longer compositions allow the band to stretch out musically and are quite progressive in nature yet still very listenable.

Classic sounding guitar riffs and riveting solos are spread throughout the CD and are a large part of the band's sound. The keyboards of Engebretsen are ever present, including vintage sounds of Mellotron and Hammond giving the songs a real '70s flair. The lead vocals of Grøntvedt are also well done. He has a soulful, bluesy voice that you do not often hear in progressive music but I think it works quite well. To put it simply, there are no weak links here, which is not often the case, especially with newer bands.

The album starts strong with "Land of the Sun", a melodic blending of vintage keys and emotive guitar playing that subtly reminded me of Santana. It is just an excellent retro sounding progressive rock song.

With "Cry No More" the band veers more towards classic heavy rock reminding me of '70s Max Webster, in particular the song "In Context of the Moon".

"Promises" starts with a folky medieval sound before turning in a prog rock direction with swirling Hammond and backdrops of Mellotron. The last two songs, "Broken Man" and "Out to the Fields" are the album's epic tracks with the former drifting between mellow acoustic guitar and heavier sections featuring raging Hammond and soaring guitar while the latter is an instrumental showcasing the band's spacier side with parts reminding me Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon.

This is another stellar debut album from a band that has a great future. They have raised the bar so high it will be interesting to hear what they come out with next.

Track Listing:
1. Land of the Sun (9:16)
2. Cry No More (3:50)
3. Promises (6:26)
4. Love in the Sky (6:55)
5. Shot to the Ground (5:40)
6. Remember (5:10)
7. Broken Man (12:34)
8. Out to the Fields (15:45)

Added: June 5th 2011
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's MySpace Page
Hits: 4022
Language: english

[ Printer Friendly Page Printer Friendly Page ]
[ Send to a Friend Send to a Friend ]


[ Back to the Reviews Index | Post Comment ]

» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Fatal Fusion: Land of the Sun
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-06-04 19:06:25
My Score:

So assured is this album that I actually wondered why I hadn't heard of Norway's Fatal Fusion before, until that is I realised that the beautifully flowing Land Of The Sun is actually the their debut effort. To be fair we are not reinventing the wheel here, but if 70's inspired heavy/progressive rock in the style of say Deep Purple, or Uriah Heep at their most restrained sounds interesting, then there's no doubt that this is an album for you. Things do also get a mite more proggy as well, with touches of Kansas or even Genesis shining through on occasion.

Vocally Knut E Grontvedt has an easy style that stands tall and proud without actually having a clear cutting edge. In fact there is a gentle rasp in there that is the polar opposite of most of the bombastic frontmen in this genre, making for a welcome change from the norm. That though would count for nothing if the music wasn't up to snuff, but the skills of keyboard player Erlend Engebretsen and guitarist Stig Selnes ensure that there are no worries in that department either. The album slowly builds through six songs that show that Fatal Fusion have the ability to vary their style significantly from track to track, while still creating a solid and cohesive sound and while the words classic and rock do undoubtedly come into play here, the production actually keeps everything in check to the extent that even the more raucous moments such as "Love In The Sky" sound crafted and considered. Mellotron, Hammond and Moogs pop up all over the place, but things don't really begin to get completely into the prog realm until the closing two tracks "Broken Man" and "Out To The Fields", both of which are split into four parts. The main difference between the two is that "Out In The Fields" is a fifteen minute instrumental, while "Broken Man" employs vocals to excellent, atmospheric effect across it near thirteen minute duration. It is to the band's credit that both songs are as captivating as each other and also fitting that Knut really gets a chance to stretch himself before bowing out for the final number.

Never bold nor brash, Fatal Fusion have created an album that crosses rock and prog genres, while never really relying on one in particular for its sole inspiration, being is all the stronger for it. Land Of The Sun is an album that stands up well to repeated scrutiny, having as it does the ability to sound reasonably fresh, but pleasantly familiar.

© 2004 Sea Of Tranquility
For information regarding where to send CD promos and advertising, please see our FAQ page.
If you have questions or comments, please Contact Us.
Please see our Policies Page for Site Usage, Privacy, and Copyright Policies.

All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all other content © Sea of Tranquility

SoT is Hosted by