Tears of Anger CD's
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Killer melodic metal act from Sweden:
Tears of Angerby John Kindred www.hardrockhaven.net
In the Shadows Lion Music
Staff Writer Comments: Tears of Anger return with their sophomore release, In The Shadows, on Lion Music. Brothers Benny and Björn Jansson are joined by drummer Daniel Flores (Mind's Eye) and bassist Johan Niemann (Mind's Eye, Therion). Following up their debut release, Still Alive, with music that expands upon their melodic, progressive and metal tendencies, the band delivers another fine opus.
From Björn Jansson comes a voice that falls between a harsher, grittier James Christian (House of Lords) and the progressive nuances of Jorn Lande (Masterplan).
The music is ferociously heavy … and for the first six songs features very melodic choruses featuring the vocal harmonies of the brothers. Teetering on the edge of the dark side with the minor tonality of many of the compositions, the band captures your attention for the first half of the album with these lavish vocal arrangements and promptly shift gears away from the big vocal choruses on some the CDs final songs.
Starting off with "In The Shadows," a progressive driving number, ripping with energy and the first huge chorus to be heard on the CD. "Spirit Running" mixes heavy riffs in the verses with a melodic bridge which takes you into the chorus. If anger is what you need then Tears of Anger complies with "I Hate You," a lyrically cheeky endeavor whose chorus proclaims these words in way that can not be construed as a loving sentiment.
"Sell My Soul" opens with a brief piano intro which is soon joined by heavy guitars and vocal accompaniment, the song appears to have an influence from Masterplan's "Soulburn," and a heavy dose of compositions recorded by House of Lords. In fact the progressive nature of many of the riffs accompanied by Bjorn's vocals produces the same level of intensity as the band Masterplan. The band gives off subtle hints of neo-classical metal influences throughout the album. "Live Those Dreams" displays those influences as well as do many of the other songs represented on the CD.
With the slight change in the vocal accompaniment on the last few songs the dynamics of In The Shadows changes slightly and it will take a few more spins to feel and hear the subtle nuances that bind the CD together as a whole. It almost makes since to start your first listening experience by jumping straight to song number 7 "Scene of the Crime," and listen until the final song "I'm Coming Home." Run through this scenario a couple of time and then spin the whole CD.
There most certainly something brewing over in Sweden, as many of today's quality progressive and hard rock releases are of from this country. Sweden has turned into Europe's equivalent to the L.A. music scene of the '80s. Tears of Anger prove that they are as good as if not better than their peers.
Tears of Anger are yet another example of the high caliber of Rock and Metal bands coming out of the Scandinavian music scene. Yet how many Rock and Metal fans in America, for example, have heard of Tears of Anger, and how many guitar enthusiasts, outside or even inside of guitar circles, have heard of the extraordinary guitarist Benny Jansson? He released no less than three Fusion albums prior to organizing Tears of Anger with his brother Bjorn, who handles the vocals. American and European audiences alike would do well to shine the spotlight on Tears of Anger and recognize their superb musicianship, stylization, and production values. In the Shadows deserves to be brought out of the shadows and enjoyed by Heavy Rock and Metal fans around the world.
The new album is Tears of Anger's second release and features the same lineup as on their debut (Still Alive, 2004, Lion Music), with Benny Jansson on guitar and keyboards, Bjorn Jansson on vocals, Daniel Flores (Mind's Eye) on drums, and Johan Niemann (Mind's Eye, Therion) on bass.
Of the twelve cuts, all of which are strong, about half possess a progressive feel similar to Jorn Lande's songwriting as well as his vocal style. The other songs stay closer to a Blues base, but are still ultra-heavy. Bjorn Jansson's soulful singing on the latter cuts is often akin to Doug Pinnick's (King's X), with those extended Blues phrases and that emotional vibrato. Moreover, King's X fans will appreciate some of Benny Jansson's wicked guitar riffs à la Ty Tabor.
Benny's lead guitar work displays maturity far above the average Metal speedster. He has an intense lead style of his own, but for the sake of comparison, his light touch, fluidity and overall technical ability are on par with the likes of wizards such as Kee Marcelo (K2, Europe) or even Allan Holdsworth. His solos are picture-perfect and show off some incredibly fast runs and slick legato lines. Although for this album, he keeps a rein on his instrumental chops, perhaps too tightly. There are no lengthy, exhibitionistic solos here, nor any flights of Fusion (for those, check out Benny's solo albums).
The striking quality of the music on In the Shadows is the huge atmosphere, a result of the synergies between the instrumentation and the arranging. One can imagine instrumental versions of some of the songs serving well as a powerful movie soundtrack. Interesting keyboard synth sounds are smartly integrated in the arrangements; they fill out the soundscape and make the guitars larger than life. By the way, the album was produced, engineered, and mixed by Benny Jansson.
The inclusion of songs with a dark, heavy Prog-Metal flavor, as well as those with a straighter, heavy Blues approach, makes In the Shadows a very satisfying album. A longer guitar solo here and there and a greater variety of instrumentation would have been pluses, but the album is highly recommended for its large sound, high-energy songs, expert guitar work and outstanding production.
TEARS OF ANGER - In the Shadows
Release Date: 2006-02-27
by: JASON SAGALL www.metalexpressradio.com
Tears Of Anger - In The Shadows
Rating - 8/10
Review Steve Atkinson www.hardrockhouse.com
Described by Lion Music’s (www.lionmusic.com) accompanying press release, this album is “a mix of melodic, progressive and metal like you’ve never heard before…” which is immediately obvious, less progressive and a touch more metal to my ear, but intrinsically woven with a true grasp of melody. The band are built around brothers, Benny and Bjorn (seriously) Jansson and feature the immeasurable talents of Daniel Flores (Mind’s Eye) and Johan Niemann (Mind’s Eye, Therion).
These collective talents converge to produce a bombastic group of tunes with genuine quality, blending detuned guitar and bass riffs with almost operatic keyboard layers to create an expansive sound. Intertwined with some impressive, neo-classical shredding the album is a balanced display of superb song writing. In a sense, it’s reminiscent of “Odyssey-era” Malmsteen, an album that was more focused toward the overall song structure (thanks I imagine to Joe Lynn Turner) and less about writing a tune around a lightning solo, thankfully, Tears Of Anger have kept the guitar histrionics limited to a sense of “embellishment” rather than focus.
Bjorn Janssen’s impressive voice is the perfect foil to brother Benny’s guitar, leading the band through the ballsy stomp of “Light My Fuse” and the almost grinding “Close To The Fire” and “How Will I Live”. Each tune deserves its place and is compounded by an enormous production quality forcing the brain to take notice. And it will take notice, another classy example of Swedish power metal and a worthwhile purchase.
More at www.tearsofanger.com
In The Shadows
Benny Jansson - Guitars
Bjorn Janssen - Vocals
Daniel Flores - Drums
Johan Niemann - Bass
|Tears Of Anger - In The Shadows (Lion Music) By: Joe Florez www.live4metal.com|
It seems like the rhythm section of bassist Johan Niemann (Therion) and drummer Daniel Flores (Mind’s Eye) are getting a ton of work by appearing on several artists CDs branded with Lion Music. I have only heard the name before and what I heard on here is quite interesting. The title track gets the show going with a very heavy/progressive intro, but repeats in the middle and end. The drums are performed with the greatest of ease, but there is some thunderous pounding going on. The six string work exudes anger just like in their name. There is a certain venom that’s going on, but I like it. What’s kind of bizarre is the way that the chorus is handled. During the song, which is building up to this point, Bjornbelts out his tune with a clean, but gruffy voice and when this zenith is reached everything sort of changes into an AOR vibe. There are these great harmony vocals that are in unison in which he lets loose as if there wasn’t going to be a next time. Before you know it, the boys are all at it again playing with fire. “Spirit Running Free” showcases lower tuned axes that chugga chugga away with fury and without a doubt delivers more bang for your buck. Damn, “I Hate You” is a pretty ugly song. For the most part, the composition drags to a degree with the riffs going though the thick mud. Check out this line in the chorus that I wasn’t expecting: (“I Hate You! I Hate You! Can’t stand your breath, can’t stand your smell”). Perhaps someone forgot to bathe and brush their teeth. Pretty wacky. Each track pretty much follows in the same steps as the others by playing in a mid tempo and utilizing the formula of melodies, AOR, rough, rugged & clean lung work, shredding guitar solos, bombastic choruses and prog. Throw it in a blender and this is what you get, albeit with occasional light keyboard work that adds a bit of atmosphere. The press release said that this was something not really heard before and I do have to agree with it. I think that while some of the traditionalists may gravitate toward this, others may not due to it being too heavy. However, I think that folks that like their music with more punch and less elegance should check this out. Writing this review does the sound no justice. It just needs to be heard in order to get the true feeling that is displayed.
www.lionmusic.com | www.tearsofanger.com
TEARS OF ANGER - STILL ALIVE (Lion Music)
The two brothers Benny and Björn Jansson are two well-known musicians in Sweden. Through the eighties and
mid nineties they worked for one of Sweden`s best selling labels called Lionheart Records. They did producing,
engineering and playing for many artists and they were both well hired studio musicians. The idea of starting
Tears Of Anger began when the two brothers wanted to mix AOR and Metal together. They signed a deal with
Montezuma records, but for reasons yet unknown, the album was never released. In the late nineties the two
brothers stopped working together for a while, Björn worked as session vocalist and singer with artists and bands
like Erika, Two Rocks and Snakes In Paradise. Benny also continued his career working with Two Rocks, The
Johansson Brothers, Talisman and Svullo, he also released three soloalbums in this period. After working with
Daniel Flores (Mind`s Eye, Faro) on his latest soloalbum, Daniel was asked to join Benny and Björn in Tears
Of Anger. The band searched for a bassplayer for a while and ended up with Daniel`s bandmate from Mind`s
Eye, Johan Niemann. With a great lineup the band finally could start working on their debut Still Alive, who
was released by Lion Music in March.
It comes great bands from Sweden all the time and Tears Of Anger is another great proof on that. With the debut,
Still Alive, they mix elements of Melodic Hard Rock/ Melodic Metal with a touch of progressive rock. It`s easy to
hear that the two brothers Björn and Benny has a lot of experience in the music business. Björn is a great singer
who sometimes reminds me of a mix between Bjorn Lodin (Baltimoore) and Andy Engberg ( Section A). Benny is
a very good guitarplayer with a lot of technical riffs and solos, his style in playing is sometimes like Pete Lesperance
(Harem Scarem) and Alfred Koffler in Pink Cream 69. The watertight rhythm-section with Daniel Flores (Mind`s
Eye, Faro) and Johan Nieman (Mind`s Eye) sounds rock solid. The production by Björn and Benny is very good
and they have managed to make a huge massive sound and it is obvious that they have put a lot of work in the song-
writing too. The first track, The Awakening, presents Tears Of Anger very good with a bit of most of the styles
they are through on the album. The song has some small progressive parts mixed with a dose of Melodic Metal,
Hard Rock plus a nice chorus and great played instruments. With many highlights like Afraid Of The Dark, Sword
Of Sorrow, and the Prog oriented Revenge Will Come, plus the very nice Classic Hard Rock oriented King`s
Call they show us big talent and great skills. Still Alive is a very strong debut I will recommend to everyone who
like a bit of Prog, Melodic Metal and Classic Metal and Hard Rock!
Tears Of Anger are:
Benny Jansson - Guitar
Björn Jansson - Vocal,
Daniel Flores - Drums
Johan Niemann -Bass
|Tears of Anger
Producer: Benny Jansson/Bjorn Jansson
Style: Hard rock
Reviewed by: Kaj www.melodic.net
|I know some of my friends just can´t listen to numetal or other modern hard rocking bands,they want the old school of classic 70´s or 80´s sounding hard rock but not many new bands manages to get it straight.
If they do have that old style,the good songs are missing or the production is too lame but in this case with the new Swedish band Tears of Anger-I can give all you suckers for classic melodic hard rock a real treat to look into with the tip of their debut "Still Alive".
I,myself am a huge fan of Graham Bonnet and just love the albums "Down to Earth" (Rainbow),"Assault attack" (MSG) and "Disturbing the peace" (Alkatrazz) that he sings on,so it is with joy I can present to you this band that recorded the follow up album to MSG´s Assault attack that never Schenker/Bonnet made.
Singer Bjorn Jansson sounds like a mix of Bonnet and Jorn Lande,a terrific voice perfectly made for this mighty hard rock album and his guitarplaying brother Benny Jansson is known for his much appreciated solo works and the Two Rocks album.
Benny´s riffs hails somewhere between Schenker and Vai,the album should have a warning sign of being addictive to playing airguitar.The idea of Tears of anger began when the brothers wanted to mix AoR and Metal together, to create something dark yet so melodic no one could resist their music.
They drafted drummer Daniel Flores (Minds Eye, Faro) and bassist Johan Niemann (Therion) into the band and the success was a fact,"Still Alive" is like a book that shows you how to make a good song and play it right,when so many of our old heroes can´t write and record great albums any longer like they used to......it´s so nice to hear that Tears of Anger fills that hole greatly.
Tears Of Anger provide a perfect mix of Godsmack meets Hammerfall meets Dream Theatre... yes, that sounds crazy, but they do it, and it works. Brothers Bjorn and Benny Jansson have concieved such a project that is modern and dark, but stays within the new generation of Melodic Metal with big hooks. Benny Jansson's fret-work is nothing short of brilliant, if you havn't heard him play you have to check this out. Bjorn's voice has a scratchy edge, but his sense of melody is incredible. I must mention the bass playing of Daniel Flores and the drumming of Johan Nieman as well, they provide and awesome punch to the music and compliment the music amazingly well.
Some of the stronger tracks in my opinion are "Moments Of Truth" an emotionally charge mid-tempo fist-raising anthem. For the prog fans, there's many songs that'll stick out, like the opener "The Awakening" and "Revenge Will Come". Incidentally those track really show off Benny Jansson's guitar prowess. "Watch Me Run" has more of an 80's groove that reminded me a bit of fellow Swedes "The Electric Boys".
Overall, a VERY strong effort and should suit anyone who likes their rock heavy, edgy and their musicianship superb. If these guys don't go on to bigger and better things I will be amazed.