Airstream is the new Swedish hard rock/metal/AOR band formed by ex-Sky of Rage vocalist Staffan 'Stiff' Karlsson, Mathias Brask (guitar), Tommy Moon (drums), and former Thunder bassist Micke Höglund, with their debut Kingdom of Isolation set for release on Metalville Records. Additional guitar solos on the album were contributed by guests Kee Marcello (ex-Europe) and Thomas Larsson (ex-Glenn Hughes Band). Those familiar with Karlsson's work with Sky of Rage should expect music of equally high standards, as Airstream look to take the concept of melodic rock & metal to new heights.
Packed with instantly memorable anthems as well as more melodic, almost 'theatrical' styled fare, Kingdom of Isolation is an enjoyable collection of songs from start to finish. Karlsson's vocals sit somewhere in between Magum's Bob Catley and leather lunged Norwegian Jorn Lande, and he soars to the heavens on "You Had the World in Your Hands", an extended tune that has a certain 'rock opera' feel to it. "The Power of Music" is the albums party tune, a real upbeat rocker that will prompt plenty of fist pumps and air guitar madness, while both "We Don't Look Back" and "Hold On to What We've Got" offer plenty of '80s styled hard rock/AOR hooks for a winning formula. Those into heavier fare will love the crunchy riffs of "Addicted", the hard driving "Lost in Fears", and the dark, menacing tone of "Kingdom of Isolation". Perhaps the most intriguing song is "House of Pain", which features heavy riffs, powerful vocals, memorable melodies, Celtic themes, and industrial styled rhythms; it's a strange mix of styles but it works. Less successful is "Oh Mother Oh Father", as the band again attempts theatrical rock opera, but this time the results come across as forced, bloated, and a bit puzzling.
While Kingdom of Isolation might not set the world ablaze, it's a more than solid debut effort from Airstream and shows that this new outfit has plenty to offer fans of AOR/melodic rock & metal music.
1. The Power Of Music
2. You Had The World In Your Hands
3. Hold On To What We've Got
4 Oh Mother Oh Father
5. We Don't Look Back
7. Kingdom Of Isolation
8. Lost In Fears
9. House Of Pain