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Silver Mountain: Breakin' Chains (remaster)

After the failed experiment into more comercial territory on 1988's Roses & Champagne, Jonas Hansson and his band Silver Mountain went their separate ways, letting fellow Swedish bands like Europe, Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force, Hammerfall, and Stratovarius reach heights that Hansson and his cohorts never really reached. Fast forward to 2001-Hansson and original band members Per Stadin (bass) and Jens (keyboards) and Anders (drums) Johansson took time out of their schedules to put together Breakin' Chains from multiple studios around the globe. Breakin' Chains features what most fans consider the 'classic' Silver Mountain line-up, as the foursome re-recorded some of their more popular songs as well as some rarities never before heard. After the band went out with a relative whimper after 1988's Roses & Champagne, Breakin' Chains is a pretty rockin' affair, the band cranking up the hard rock and metal on this one in a big way.

Kick of track "Prophet of Doom" sees Hansson's guitar doing battle with Jens' lightning synth runs and Stadin's slippery bass leads, a heavy piece that rivals anything Yngwie and crew have recorded over the last 20 years. Other heavy rockers like "Before the Storm", "Felo de se", "Man of No Present Existence", and "Scarlet Pimpernel" take that Deep Purple/Rainbow influence to the max, fusing sizzling guitar licks with rampaging Hammond and synth riffs, Anders' powerful drum fills providing a solid backbone to the rousing music being created. Hansson handles all the lead vocals here for the first time since the band's debut, and his Jeff Scott Soto styled vocal delivery is in fine form throughout this album. In addition, the man's guitar talents really shine (this is a player that never got his due), his raw, neo-classical solos and crunchy riffs permeating "Axeman and the Virgin", the title track, and "Rider of the Night" with plenty of fire, finesse, and muscle. A special treat for many will be the three instrumentals included here that were written by Jens, each one a ripping fusion/classical/prog/metal oriented piece that lets the keyboard ace strut his stuff alongside the blazing fretwork of Hansson.

Very solid stuff all around here, and though it would have been nice to hear these guys create some new material, these re-recordings of older songs and rarities will do just fine. It's a shame that they can't make time to get together and once again make some magic together.

Track Listing
1. Prophet of Doom
2. Before the Storm
3. Felo de se
4. Man of no present existence
5. Scarlet pimpernel
6. Maniac
7. Axeman and the virgin
8. Brekin' chains
9. Rider of the night
10. A.s.w.a.s.t
11. The Butterfly
12. Dance around the fire
13. Millattack
14. Ressurection-bonus track

Added: April 16th 2009
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Metal Mind Productions
Hits: 2263
Language: english

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