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Cans: Beyond the Gates

What is Joacim Cans' obsession with hell? On Beyond the Gates, the singer reveals an evil streak that's not as readily apparent in his work with his main band Hammerfall, giving the songs on this debut disc titles like "Soul Collector," "Back to Hell" and "Garden of Evil," and elegantly spewing such lyrics as "The lord of darkness descends my soul/With slander, tainted lies." Fortunately, Cans — the man and the band that takes his name — also has a flair for the riffs, hooks and vocal stylings that have helped Hammerfall sell more than 1 million albums.

Cans gathered some of the best musicians in the business to help make Beyond the Gates a memorable album that's at least comparable to Hammerfall's recent output. He solicited ideas for the album from guys like Jeff Waters (Annihilator), David T. Chastain (Chastain), Ronny Milianowicz (Dionysus) and Metal Mike Chlasciak (Halford), who helped carve songs that are, as Cans notes, "dark and slightly progressive, yet still melodic." Hence, the abundance of evil references set to glorious, oh glorious, arrangements. A perfect example is "Red Light," an arena-ready anthem already garnering airplay in Europe.

While the former manager of a Gothenburg candy store doesn't sing with the warrior-like zeal he brings to Hammerfall, Cans injects the dozen tracks on Beyond the Gates with a sense of immediacy and passion that may be (just maybe) missing in his Hammerfall work. Chlasciak and Hammerfall's Stefan Elmgren play dual guitars, with Mat Sinner (Primal Fear) on bass and Mark Zonder (Fates Warning) on drums. The net effect is a heavy, bombastic, dark and entertaining metal album that makes no pretenses to be something it's not. In fact, Beyond the Gates is nothing more and nothing less than a solo album by a well-known metal singer looking to unleash another side of himself. If you don't like it, well, then to hell with ya…

Track Listing
1) Fields of Yesterday (4:45)
2) Soul Collector (3:38)
3) Red Light (4:35)
4) Back to Hell (3:20)
5) Beyond the Gates (5:20)
6) The Key (4:47)
7) Garden of Evil (4:27)
8) Merciless (3:17)
9) Silent Cries (4:09)
10) Dreams (4:16)
11) Signs (4:21)
12) Forever Ends (4:25)
Total Time: 51:25

Added: June 30th 2004
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Cans Web Site
Hits: 3523
Language: english

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