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Silver Mountain: Roses & Champagne (remaster)

1988 saw the release of the third album from Swedish hard rock band Silver Mountain. As was the case with every one of their four studio releases, the line-up was a virtual revolving door, and for Roses & Champagne guitarist/vocalist Jonas Hansson brought in new lead singer Johan Dahlstrom and drummer Kjell Gustavsson to join the band alongside longtime bassist Per Stradin and keyboard player Erik Bjorn Neilsen. The results here were more AOR flavored then the previous release Universe, the band toning down their neo-classical metal attack in favor of poppier hooks and ballads, sort of along the same lines as fellow countrymen Europe, who were hitting it big at the time. There's still plenty of classical tinged shredding from Hansson hower, as evident on the vibrant opener "Romeo & Juliet", the catchy "Forest of Cries", the symphonic rocker "Coming Home", and the Malmsteen inspired "Paradise Smile". For many, the overabundance of ballads here will be a disappointment, which seemed to be what new singer Dahlstrom was most comfortable with. His melodic crooning (not unlike Joey Tempest from Europe actually) floats above tunes like "Down Town Junkie", "Light the Light", and "Where Are Your" alongside some dreamy keys and Hansson's deft acoustic and sizzling neo-classical electric work. Though the songs are all melodic and have plenty of tasty playing, this one overall seems to lack some of the fire that the band's first two releases had. This Metal Mind reissue contains a red hot bonus track called "Springtime", a nimble instrumental featuring some stellar playing from Hansson and Nielsen, both capably demonstrating their love of classical music.

As with all the Metal Mind reissues, Roses & Champagne has been digitally remastered (though the production still sounds somewhat dated), and comes in a nice digipack complete with lyrics and photos. It's a nice package, and if you failed to check this band out back in the day, Metal Mind has given you a reason to do so now.

Track Listing
1. Romeo & Juliet
2. Light The Light
3. Where Are You
4. Forest of Cries
5. Coming Home
6. Paris
7. Paradise Smile
8. Not You Baby
9. Down Town Junkie
10. Springtime-bonus track

Added: April 16th 2009
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Metal Mind Productions
Hits: 1950
Language: english

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