STRATOSPHERE - review added 26th October 2010
Album Review: Fire Flight (2010)
For fans of: Hard Rock... and what Yngwie should probably sound like these days
Stratosphere is the baby of symphonic rock fan and keyboard maestro Jeppe Lund. Joining him on the record are Goran Edman on vocals, Jonas Larsen on guitars, Jim McCarty on drums, and Anders Borre Mathiesen on bass. "Fire Flight" was mixed and mastered by the super talented Martin Kronlund at JM Recording Studios in Gothenburg, Sweden.
The sound harks towards many of the projects Goran Edman has been involved with. He really does give the albums he works on a particular sound, and here it's no different. In the last year or two we've had, amongst others, Geff, Vindictiv, and Crash The System, and all the songs he has put his golden pipes to have basically sounded like Goran Edman tracks. So, the deal here is: if you don't like the others you won't like this. If you do, read on...
The musicianship - especially the near-virtuoso guitar playing - treads a path that centres on hard rock, but draws influences from symphonic and speed metal, plus softer, bluesy and progressive areas. It's an interesting release, but the quality of the songs throughout really does go up and down like the Andes.
'Russian Summer' has a great sound, although it doesn't go anywhere. Great guitars though. The racy 'The Battle Within' is Yngwie-playing-battle-metal through and through, and works well. The slower 'Enemy Of my Soul is pleasant, good even, but it's so close to greatness it's annoying it doesn't get there. 'Streets Of Moscow' on the other hand is absolute brilliance and gives the album a huge lift. 'Rendezvous' is a cool instrumental that sees the various musicians battling it out to decide who is best. I'm not sure there's a clear winner as they all sound marvelous...
'Shining Star' is another nice if uninspiring entry. 'China Girl' rocks it up and is a lot more interesting than it should be. 'Princess Of The Night' is a slow track that takes a while to get going, but when it does parts of it are breathtaking. 'VIP' sounds like a ballad at the beginning, but then turns into a Vindictiv-style racy number. Cool in a weird way, just like most Vindictiv tracks. The final entry is the instrumental title track, and it's almost up there with track 5 for brilliance.
There is some classy music on "Fire Flight", but as mentioned previously it is annoyingly inconsistent. Definitely worth a listen though.
Check out... The two instrumentals and 'Street Of Moscow'.
01. Russian Summer
02. The Battle Within
03. Enemy Of my Soul
04. Streets Of Moscow
06. Shining Star
07. China Girl
08. Princess Of The Night
10. Fire Flight
Label: Escape Music