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Impulsia: Expressions

Put together members of Candlemass and Royal Hunt and the last thing you would expect to hear is a West Coast flavoured AOR album. However in the case of Johan Langquist (Candlemass) and Marcus Jidell (Royal Hunt) along with Uno Sjostrom, who is the main composer and that is exactly what we have here. Sjostrom also plays acoustic guitar Expressions, while Langquist puts his Coverdale like tones to the songs. Jidell handles much of the guitar duties, however he also shines as producer to the project as the sound quality is crisp and sharp as this kind of laid back melodious music requires. That in itself is only part of the story as the list of guest musicians that make up the band is impressive indeed. The Poodles and Hammerfall's Pontus Norgren, Tommy Denander (Paul Stanley, among many, many others) and Dave Martone all contribute their considerable six string talent, while Thomas Broman (Glenn Hughes) occupies the drum stool. Impulsia will also be noted for being the final recorded performance from the late Marcel Jacob on bass, who tragically took his own life last year after years of battling illness.

Vocally alongside Langquist, Robin Beck impressively sings "Alone", "Fly Away" and "Seas To Cross", while "Pandora" (Anneli Magnusson) features on "Oceans of Love". Beck also sings back up on "Too Many Heartaches" which she does so with her husband and House of Lords vocalist James Christian. So with the cast list (almost, there are plenty more) covered, what does it sound like? Well put quite simply if heart wrenching, atmospheric, moody West Coast is your bag then this will most definitely appeal to you. There's little new or innovative, however the musical performances are, as you would expect, classy and the end results hit home convincingly more often than not. Stand out tracks are the building "Rosa Lee", where Langquist apes David Coverdale to stunning effect and the uplifting feel good chorus is right out of the top drawer. Add to that some fantastic guitar playing and this is a little cracker of a melodic rock song (the acoustic version featured later on is also a welcome reworking). "Oceans of Love" throws in a little pomp attitude, before a thumping beat drives this into a verse where tasty guitar licks are reeled off one after another. The vocal interplay between Langquist and "Pandora" works very well as they sometimes work off each other and sometimes battle for supremacy.

My heart often sinks when I read the title of a genuine rock classic in a CDs track listing, as the chance of a band offering something new to such a well known number is minimal, however Impulsia's take on "Layla" is faithful enough to the original to honour the song, however the slick smooth guitars and wonderful vocal actually makes it a worthy addition to this set of songs. Not quite so convincing however is "Too Many Heartaches", although it is a slower track with some cracking performances, I found the chorus' similarity to David Coverdale's "Too Many Tears" to be way to close for comfort and somewhat off putting, to the extent that I still sing the wrong lyrics over it.

Expressions is an album that Impulsia should be proud of and even with the odd missed step should please fans of this type of music no end.

Track Listing
1. Fly Away
2. Rosa Lee
3. Layla
4. Alone
5. Oceans of Love
6. Slow Down
7. Too Many Heartaches
8. Move On
9. Seas to Cross
10. Dream On
11. Rosa Lee (acoustic)
12. River of Tears

Added: January 5th 2010
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Band's Web Page
Hits: 3218
Language: english

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