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Mister Kite: Box of Fear

While spinning each of the 10 tracks on Box of Fear, the second album from Mister Kite, I had to keep reminding myself that these five guys are Swedish. Box of Fear contains 10 dark and modern tracks that would sound right at home on practically any rock station in America. Singer Alf Wemmenlind's angst-ridden voice reveals nary a hint of an accent, and the backing vocals of guitarist Magnus Kristensson, bassist Anton Johansson, drummer Mats Bergentz and Tomas Djurfeldt add plenty of punch and depth.

It's hard to believe that these five players gigged with the likes of Bruce Dickinson, Helloween and the Johansson Brothers before teaming up in 2000 to form Mister Kite (named after a Beatles reference, perchance?). Finland's Lion Music a label best known for releasing instrumental-guitar and progressive-metal music continues its recent efforts to break from its niche by giving Mister Kite a major push in the overseas market and (in a perfect world) in North America. Staccato rhythms, emotional vocals, moody melodies, smart lyrics and an overall edge give Mister Kite a distinctly American-rock sound not necessarily a bad thing. The formula works best on tracks like the rousing opener "From This Day On," the heavy "In This Room" and the album's first single "The Hunger."

Box of Fear is not as diverse as Mister Kite's 2002 debut All in Time, a disc that still managed to remain rooted in the progressive realm with the Rush-like title track and a three-part epic. Now it's as if Mister Kite is intentionally casting its sound into the world and letting the wind take it where it may. The best way to describe Mister Kite is to compare these five Swedes to four guys from Wisconsin and Minnesota who formed a band called Seventeen Rhinos and came within inches of a major-label deal and a national gig in the late-Nineties. The Rhinos had it all the voice, the chops, the personality and the songs. Mister Kite right now is a lot like Seventeen Rhinos back then. Here's to a high-flying future, boys.

Track Listing
1) From This Day On (5:17)
2) How Long (5:08)
3) Evil Bob (5:11)
4) I Know You Know (5:16)
5) Into Nothing (5:06)
6) In This Room (5:29)
7) State (4:14)
8) Do Your Worst (6:17)
9) The Hunger (5:28)
10) Box of Fear (5:59)
Running Time (53:29)

Added: February 8th 2004
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Mister Kite Web Site
Hits: 3246
Language: english

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