Mike Terrana on drums and John West on vocals might be enough to sell this album. Add in Emir Hot, who is a student of the guitar, and the songwriter, and you get an album that most fans of the outputs of Lion Music will enjoy.
Sevdah Metal has a fair share of guitar shredding, but also slows itself down at times for more melodic power metal-ish songs. Listening to the album at times felt like I was listening to an audition. While the variety of the album, and it not being just one meaningless guitar solo after the next, was enjoyable, the album lacked cohesion and polish.
The biggest disappointment is that I never felt inspired. When I listen to an album that has the guitar player in the spotlight, I want to be inspired. Nonetheless, I want it to be enjoyable. But I wasn't inspired. Emir's playing may be technically great, but compositionally it offered very little. The solos felt more like a Steve Vai workout session than they did as something that conveyed any meaning. The solos sometimes would come out of nowhere in the song, the song would change, rhythmically and in color, for the duration of that solo, and then would return back to the normally scheduled song. This left me confused, and at times bored, waiting for the shred to end so that I could hear the actual song.
But all is not doom and gloom with this album. There were some standouts that will make this album worthwhile for some. "World Set on Fire", which mixed guitar and accordion, was an interesting piece and worth listening to. Also, "Stand and Fight" had a fist pumping anthem quality, and was quiet catchy.
And for those that want to hear some insanely fast and technical solos, but in a non-instrumental package, then this album is worth purchasing. For this listener, it just doesn't offer up enough, and in the future I'd like to hear less of a focus on showing off, and more of a focus on getting those guitar solos to fit the songs, as well as to focus on playing interesting solos instead of just finger exercises.
1. Forspil (intro)
2. Devils in Disguise
3. World Set on Fire
4. Skies and Oceans
5. Sevdah Metal Rhapsody
6. Stand and Fight
7. Endless Pain
8. Hora Martisorului (instrumental)
9. Land of The Dark