|Musical Style: Neo-Classical Metal||Produced By: Erik Martensson & Golden Resurrection|
|Record Label: Liljegren||Country Of Origin: Sweden|
|Year Released: 2010||Artist Website: Golden Resurrection|
|Tracks: 9||Rating: 85%|
|Running Time: 38:12|
What happens when you combine the best aspects of ReinXeed (melodic power metal approaching speed metal territory) and Audiovision (melodic metal laced with power metal tendencies)? The end result is the neo-classical metal of Golden Resurrection. A joining of key members from both groups, including the guitar wizardry of Tommy Johansson (ReinXeed) and soaring vocals of Christian Liljegren (Audiovision), Golden Resurrection draws upon the influences of Yngwie Malmsteen and the first two Narnia albums (Awakening and Long Live The King) on its 2010 Liljegren Records full length debut Glory To My King.
If you are looking for fantastic melodies and hooks non-stop, polished vocal arrangements and speed, speed and more speed (the tempo here can border on the relentless) then you will find a home in Golden Resurrection. Throw in virtuoso guitar work and plenty of incessant double bass and it all adds up to neo-classical metal paradise.
If I were to invite comparison, Yngwie Malmsteen and early Narnia, once more, are the first names to come to mind, although you will also encounter some symphonic elements along the lines of Divinefire. Fans of other forms of metal, including melodic metal (Rob Rock), epic metal (Theocracy) and European power metal (Seventh Avenue), will not feel left out either. Impellitteri also deserves consideration. I swear that tracks such as “Glory To My King” and “The Final Day” have a harpsichord going on in the background, even though one is not mentioned in the liner notes.
The albums remaining material, otherwise, is up-tempo, energetic and very highly motivated, as barn burners “See My Commands”, “Best For Me” and “Golden Flames” aptly demonstrate. But you will come across a bit of variety as well, as can be found in “Never Look Back”, with its AOR touches, and “Proud To Wear The Holy Cross”, the lone track here to approach mid-tempo territory.
Guitarist Tommy Johansson, of course, helps lend to the Impellitteri comparison. I always felt his performance in ReinXeed was quite strong, but Golden Resurrection finds him coming into his own. The guy, for a lack of better words, has honed his skills to surgeon like precision, reflected in the dazzling fret work, blistering pyrotechnics and melodic harmonies he imbues the project. He also knows when to slow things down (even if just slightly) and take a more finesse based approach without insisting on filling every second with literally a thousand notes. In other words, sometimes less is more- and such is the case here.
Christian Liljegren remains at the top of his game vocal wise. The guy literally sings his heart out here, delivering a performance characterized by guts, passion, soul and zeal- and complementing the musical environs at hand in the process. As with the new Audiovision (Focus), he also knows when to deliver a well timed falsetto, as aptly demonstrated on “Golden Flames” and “Best For Me”.
It is important to note that it is not all Johansson and Liljegren in that the two have surrounded themselves with some very capable musicians in keyboardist Olov Andersson, bassist Stefan Kack and drummer Rickard Gustavsson.
Production values are clean and refined with a sound on the crystal clear side of things. The lone complaint, and I am not the only reviewer to point this out, is that the bass could have been placed a bit more forward in the mix.
The only other constructive comment to offer is that Glory To My King is a bit short in featuring just eight full length songs. It would have been nice to hear a ninth (or tenth) song in the form of a full length “shred” instrumental or Narnia cover (anything off Awakening would have fit perfectly).
Track By Track
On “See My Commands” up-tempo momentum carries the day, joined by front to back neo-classical riffing, deluges of tenacious drumming and bigger doses of polished backing vocals. Johansson pulls out all the stops with his tight as it gets playing throughout a protracted instrumental stretch. Lyric snippet:
Hear Me God Help me now
Give me strength to carry on
See my commands
Follow them all
You’re my creation
I care for you all
Seek in your heart
You’ll find the way
See my commands
“Best For Me” stands out with its positive and uplifting feel. Again, an upbeat disposition is reinforced while more backing vocals make their presence felt, particularly upon attaining quite the riveting chorus. Johansson, once mire, is superb with his playing during the songs instrumental moments (he reminds me somewhat of CJ Grimmark in this capacity). Lyric snippet:
Live and learn
Get down to basics
I lay my life into Your hands
You are always by my side
Until the end of time
I’m not afraid
You always want the best for me
The albums title track is a romping piece that brings to mind Impellitteri. With a wealth of impetus behind it, the song comes across machine-like in precision - the low end is really happening here - while hinting at a harpsichord in the backdrop (this is where that Impellitteri comparison comes into play). Put this on Screaming Symphony and it would sound right at home. Lyric snippet:
I’m standing here
Sing glory to my King
He is my everything
No turning back
Darkness will fade away
Glory to my King
The Holy Spirit will guide you and me today
We are the songs and daughters of eternity
Some time and tempo changes characterize “Never Look Back”. Dominated by a weighty bass line at the start of its first verse, the song transitions between a lush passage almost giving rise to an AOR feel and chorus driven by more of the bands trademark high energy impetus. Highlighting the landscape are some airy keyboards. Lyric snippet:
I’ll never look back
Live my life for my Maker today
There’s no time to lose
Life has so much to give
I’ll never look back
The praise metal of “The Final Day” sets a fast and furious pace. A crunch heavy guitar sound drives the song - one of the albums heaviest - along with an interweaving of what can best be described as more harpsichord. Some symphonic metal moments not unlike Divinefire can be found as well. Lyric snippet:
The final day
When the King returns
I hear the angels sing
Praise to the King of Kings
Oh what a day
When the King returns
Jesus Christ – the King of Kings
“Proud To Wear The Holy Cross” brings a break from the unrelenting momentum. The song strays towards the mid-tempo side of things, sustained by a pronounced bass line but maneuvering its verses as a dominant rhythm guitar crashes in and out of the mix. An anthem-like chorus makes a decisive statement:
I wear the Holy Cross
You shed Your blood for us
You rose from the dead
I’m proud to wear the Holy Cross
Best stretch of extended lead guitar from Johansson (played with a great deal of emotion and feeling). Lyric snippet:
I am a messenger, Messenger for the King
I’m proud to live, I wear the Holy Cross
His holy kingdom is totally free from sin
Jesus is the answer, the answer for everything
The upbeat initiative returns on “Golden Flames”. A hook driven monster, the song brings one of those infectious choruses guaranteed to remain with you for time to come. Good use of backing vocals while a lead guitar and keyboard duel rounds things out. Lyric snippet:
Here we come
To show the world there is a way
Beyond this crazy game
We cannot win
We are the golden flames
Every nation shall see
We will never surrender, no.
“God’s Grand Hotel” starts to a refined keyboard solo before a galloping riff takes over. The song proves steeped in majesty the rest of the way, regal and grand but delivering more than enough guitar driven muscle to draw you in at the same time. More shred lead guitar adds to the lofty scene. Lyric snippet:
This is my life, this is my call
I have checked in to God’s Grand Hotel
Where the music lives forever
Now is the time to taste it and see
I welcome you all
To God’s Grand Hotel
“My Creation”, a brief (:46) spoken word piece, closes things out.
I found Glory To My King a fun experience to listen to. What puts things over the top are the talents of Johansson and Liljegren, an ingenious team certain to rank alongside other top guitarist-vocalist duos, such as Rob Rock and Chris Impellitteri. Another aspect is the accomplished songwriting, which is complemented by the polished production values. Strong recommendation.
Review by Andrew Rockwell
Track Listing: “See My Commands” (3:56), “Best For Me” (4:11), “Glory To My King” (4:08), “Never Look Back” (3:58), “The Final Day” (5:41), “Proud To Wear The Holy Cross” (6:18), “Golden Flames” (4:47), “God’s Grand Hotel” (4:24), “My Creation” (:46),
Christian Liljegren – Lead Vocals
Tommy Johansson – Guitars, Keyboards & Orchestration
Olov Andersson – Keyboards
Stefan Kack – Bass
Rickard Gustavsson – Drums