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M.ILL.ION: Kingsize

Somehow, the veteran Swedish band M.ILL.ION manages to make a song describing the horror of a satanic ritual in an English hotel room ("someone's dying in a lot of pain") sound like a rousing, fist-pumping anthem. "Room No. 3" is one of the best songs on M.ILL.ION's fifth album, Kingsize, which overflows with Eighties-inflected arena rock in the vein of KISS, Dio and, yeah, maybe even a bit of Bon Jovi. Of course, the band's history dates back to the early Nineties, just before arena rock all but disappeared. Although M.ILL.ION fit the ubiquitous "big in Europe" billing, the band soldiered on throughout the Nineties, apparently garnering fans in the States and finally teaming up with Majestic Rock, an impressive and powerful new British label that doesn't give a rat's ass what mainstream audiences think.

That's good, because neither does M.ILL.ION. Fronted by vocalist Ulrich Carlsson, the quintet embraces big gang choruses, charming harmonies, strategic use of keyboards and bad-boy bravado on instantly likable tracks like "Eyes of a King," "Zombies," "On and On" and the British single "Backdoor Queen." Granted, there are a few misfires: "Forbidden Fruit" is an amateur ballad that sounds like it should have remained in 1983, and "Prison of Power," during which Carlsson talks smack to a boss man called "Mr. Big Shot," is mired down with ugly lyrics about "golden showers in the park." But overall, Kingsize is a refreshing album that, given its pedigree, could have relied instead on rock clichés. Thanks a M.ILL.ION that it doesn't …

Track Listing:
1) Eyes of a King
2) Backdoor Queen
3) Room No. 3
4) Rock 'N' Roll Nation
5) On and On
6) Forbidden Fruit
7) Zombies
8) Fight You Forever
9) Killing the Messenger
10) Prison of Power
11) Those Eyes

Added: July 19th 2005
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Million Web Site
Hits: 3562
Language: english

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