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Audiovision: Focus

Audiovision debuted back in 2005 with "The Calling" and an all-star cast that included Jeff Scott Soto, Bruce Kullick, Mic Micheali and Tony Franklin. The album was well received, however its creator Christian Liljegren went back to his day job of the time in the band Narnia and it looked as if Audiovision would be a one off project. 2009 however saw Liljegren announce that he was leaving Narnia (no wardrobe jokes please!) to concentrate on a new version of Audiovision. Christian recruited Torbjörn Weinesjö (Veni Domine) on guitar, bassist Simeon Liljegren (Modest Attraction), Olov Andersson (Grand Stand) on keys and drummer Thomas Weinesjö (Veni Domine, Saviour Machine) and the band set about playing some live shows before settling down to record "Focus".

Whilst much has changed between "The Calling" and "Focus", musically it is safe to say if you liked the blend of power metal and melodic hard rock that the debut introduced, then you will like this album as well. Unsurprisingly, given Liljegren previous bands, the lyrics are of a Christian metal theme, however it is a pleasure to hear them backed up by a tough musical vision that places more emphasis on the songs than the message. With a sound that relies as strongly on the keyboards of Andersson as they do Weinsjo's guitars, the results are hard hitting in their approach, while always maintaining an atmospherically melodic edge that when married to the excellently arranged vocals and song structures, make for a set of songs full of individuality and character. As a whole the album needs a good few listens to begin to reveal its strengths, however with a little perseverance the charms do start to unravel. The production from Erik Martensson (WET, Eclipse) is crisp and sharp, managing to add weight to the heavier songs, and when it comes to the sparse beauty of "Fruit of Love" the effect is even greater and though "Focus" is a mostly a hard hitting album, it is the tremendous restrained guitar, bass and keyboard lines of this song that really steal the show.

Elsewhere, the likes of "We Will Go" or "The Way" somehow blends the bite of Dio with the slick heaviness of recent Europe releases and then Wiensjo sprinkles a little Zakk Wylde like magic via some guitar screams and screaches, to make a fine concoction indeed. Liljegren as expected, performs extremely well throughout and while his mighty bellow comes from the same influence points as many other vocalists in the genre, his ability to carry the light and shade of the songs with ease and conviction makes his delivery more convincing and believable than most.

It's good to see Audiovision back after their lengthy absence and with their new steady line up and an album as impressive as "Focus", they can only go from strength to strength.

Track Listing
01. Invitation
02. Keep the fire burning
03. We are not alone
04. The son will come
05. You are the reason
06. Fruit of love
07. We will go
08. I will belong to you
09. The way
10. The gate
11. Focus

Added: October 17th 2010
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Audiovision at Ulterium Records
Hits: 1214
Language: english

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