- Mountain Of Love
- Girl Goodbye
- Prove It To You
- On The Edge
- Feels So Strange
- Feel The Cold Wind
- Meant To Be
- Keepin' Your Dreams Alive
- On The Edge
2004 Lion Music
Guitarist Lars Eric Mattson returns with the 3rd Vision
album (4th if you include a best of). Mattson mostly composed this album
between 1993 to 1998 for two previous versions of this band, but without
Mattson discovering vocalist John Jeff Touch this album would never have
been completed. The pair do make a good partnership, Touch's vocals are
very distinctive and remind me of Mark Slaughter (Slaughter). The
songwriting is certainly stronger here than on previous Vision releases,
as is the production, with all ten tracks being enjoyable.
Opener Mountain Of Love sets
the pace with its strong structure and simple yet effective riff;
Touch's vocals carry the song well too. Girl Goodbye has a darker vibe
and an original chord progression that works well, I also liked the
harmony vocals on the verse and Mattson's short guitar licks that led
back into the verses.
Prove It To You maintains the
dark vibe and makes good use of light and shade, Touch's vocals growl
here and make the chorus shine.
The title track On The Edge
begins with a good bassline and sees a slightly modern sound that has
some funk rock sensibilities to it, more in the way the bass and drums
are locked in. The chorus is again very strong and sees good harmony
vocals once again. This track has a great feel to it and is definitely
one of the highlights.
Feels So Strange sounds to me
like a mix of early 80's pop music with a hard rock vibe, original is
the word here and again it works. John Jeff Touch's vocals definitely
play a part in the tracks overall feel here, and again its unlike
anything I think I have ever heard in hard rock but it works!
Feel The Cold Wind starts out
echoing Led Zeppelin's Babe I'm Gonna Leave You with its soft verses,
there is also some nice use of the electric sitar here by Mattson. The
chorus has a good hook, again with a dark nature to it. Mattson's solo
here is restraint and suits the mood of the track well - the track rides
out on the chorus.
Stranded would not be out of
place on a Joe Lynn Turner era Rainbow album. The track is straight from
the 1980's melodic hard rock school of thought, but that means killer
melodies and a strong emphasis on feel. Again we see the electric sitar
crop up which leads to an Uli Jon Roth esque solo from Mattson before
the rest of the band comes back in, another highlight.
Meant To Be sees the 80's
melodic hard rock tone continue and is home to another strong chorus
which takes an unusual twist before heading back into the verse. John
Jeff Touch's distinctive vocals again play a part in giving the track an
air of originality into a competitive field.
Keepin' Your Dreams Alive is
a bluesy shuffle that reminds me a little of Gary Moore's 'How Many More
Times' (not the Zeppelin track) from his Back To The Blues album; not a
bad thing by anymeans. The comparisons however end when we get to the
pre-chorus and chorus which again has a great hook and Touch's vocals
soar. Mattson lays down a strong solo here that has somewhat of a
Blackmore vibe to these ears.
The darkish Susanna sees the
album out in more melodic hard rock style. This track has several
characters from the melodic riffing intro to the more commercialised
feel of the verse (probably due to its major key tonality) before the
pre-chorus goes to a more reflective sound. The chorus is pure 80's but
avoids sounding cliché. Mattson interjects several solos and licks
throughout this closing track.
To be honest this album took me somewhat by surpise. The
previous Vision albums I have always left me a little cold like they
were searching for a sound but never quite finding it. On The Edge is a
different beast, the songwriting and sound is consistent throughout and
nothing here sounds forced. Mattson has obviously found his perfect
partner in John Jeff Touch and hope that the next release continues down
a similar path as they obv have great skill in this genre.
Fans of acts such as Joe Lynn Turner era Rainbow, the
whole Swedish melodic hard rock scene and good quality songwriting
should check On The Edge out promptly.
On The Edge, Feels So Strange, Feel The Cold Wind, Stranded
|Vision - On The Edge
Title: On The Edge
Label: Lion Music
Lars Eric Mattson is a very versatile musician,
composer and producer and features on a load of Lion
Music releases. A lot of his work is instrumental
and although I like instrumental music to a certain
extent, I prefer to hear vocals added to the music.
Fortunately Mattson’s new release, On The Edge, has
vocals in them, as he too found it time for a change.
Vision started out as a solo project, but has now
evolved into a tight sounding band.
Although generally I AOR does not do much for me,
I’d like to make an exception for this one! On The
Edge balances between AOR/melodic rock and metal.
Matteson tried to join forces with original Vision
vocalist Conny Lind, but that did not work out and
in 2003 singer John Jeff Touch stepped in.
Unfortunately the internet did not give me anything
on this guy, but from his performance on this album,
he is fanatastic! Vaguely I heard a hint of Jon Bon
Jovi in his vocals, but outside that, his vocals are
truly powerfull and has a good range.
The material of On The Edge is not new, it was
written in the period 1993 – 2003, but it all sounds
fresh and new. Solid rock, with heavy riffs,
virtuoso solos, outstanding vocals and a great
drummer (Eddie Sledgehammer). Mattson himself plays
all guitars, bass and keys. There is nothing much
more I can say. This is a great album, with a good
production, a consistend sound and, I cant say that
enough, fabulous vocals. I really enjoy the guitar
play of Mattson here. More of this, please?
Mountain of L
Added: August 3rd 2004
Vision - "On the Edge"
Released on Lion Music in 2004
John Jeff Touch - vocals
Lars Eric Mattsson - guitar, bass, keyboards
Eddie Sledgehammer - drums & percussion
TRACK - BY - TRACK:
1.) "Mountain of Love" - This track opens with a very simple electric
picking pattern. The vocal lines of the pre-verse has a sound like John is
almost whispering the vocals. The verse kicks in with a very eighties metal
feel to it. For the main rhythm of the song Lars plays a very simple laid back
chording pattern. The drum rhythm for the verse has a very tight sound to it.
The backing vocals of the chorus are perfectly timed and right where they need
to be. Lars like the rest of the guitar tracks lays back for the solo section.
After the solo section there is a very small keyboard arrangement. The outro
chorus section has a minor guitar solo underneath the vocal lines.
2.) "Girl Goodbye" - From the opening intro you can hear the TNT influence this
song has. During the intro section there is a small lead guitar scale. When
the vocal lines of the verse kick in if I did not know better I would swear this
was Tony Harnell sings. The simple guitar riff Lars plays works very well with
John's vocal lines. The harmonies of the chorus are very tight and sound
great. During the breakdown section before the solo Lars added a little
national steel guitar arrangement.
3.) "Prove it to You" - The Keyboard arrangement of this small intro is the main
instrument. At times through the vocal lines John's vocals have a Tony Harnell
feel to them. The main guitar arrangement of the verse section is a very simple
electric picking pattern. John changes his vocal sound for the pre-chorus
section. The second verses dynamics where changed a little by using a wood
block instead of the snare drum. The breakdown section before the solo
consisted of just keyboard. Lars plays a lot of nice licks through the
progressive solo section. During the second solo section there is a vocal
overdubbed harmony section underneath.
4.) "On the Edge" -This track opens with percussion. The opening bass section
had a very cool sound and really shows Lars talent for not only playing guitar
but also the bass. At times the guitar arrangement has a very abstract feel to
it. The way the vocal line was set up for the verse suits the song very well.
The backing harmonies of the choruses are very tight and have a TNT feel to them.
At times on the vocal lines of the verse John whispers the vocal parts. For the
solo Lars wrote and performed nothing too flashy. The choruses have huge hooks
laced within the backing harmonies that also have a 'Westworld' feel. The
wah-wah effect Lars chose for the solo suited the solo and song very well. The
vocal line during the outro section really expresses John's vocal ability.
5.) "Feels so Strange" -I really liked the opening arrangement the band wrote
for the intro on this track. John's vocal lines have a Tony Harnell feel on the
verses, a lot like the stuff Tony does with 'Westworld'. Musically this track
has quickly became my favorite. I really liked the hook Lars wrote for the
guitar arrangements. The harmony sections on the choruses are superb, and are
some of the best I've ever heard!!!! Even though the solo section at times as
an abstract feel it really suits the song well. Even though the song is 3:55
long and that is still pretty long for today's standards, when listening to it
the song is so good that it sounds short.
6.) "Feel the Cold Wind" -This track opens with a very that pack three finger
plucking electric guitar pattern. I thought John chose the proper vocal style
and sound for the music. At times the accents sound a little like 'Smashing
Pumpkins' singer. After the first chorus there is a small lead scale. The main
solo section is after the second chorus. All in all the song is a great sounding
'Westworld' style ballad.
7.) "Stranded" -This track opens with a huge eighties metal style intro and lead
scale. The keyboard section for the verse completely blew me away. The verses
and choruses are also written in the same eighties metal style. The minor solo
section after the second chorus was not nearly as intense has I expected. The
band really change the dynamics of the song during the breakdown section with a
sitar solo. The main solo section was just guitar and sitar with no music
backing them up.
8.) "Meant to Be" -The lead scale on this track has a very progressive feel.
There is a very cool, simple lead guitar rhythm underneath the vocal lines of
the verse. Underneath the chorus section Lars plays the same lead riff as the
intro section. The solo section was accented with an acoustic guitar solo, this
completely blew me away I was not expecting it at all.
9.) "Keepin' Your Dreams Alive" -This track opens with a blues/metal intro.
When the vocals of the verse kick in you could say the band where influenced by
any metal band from the eighties. I think every metal band from the eighties
recorded a song in this style. The breakdown section has a very cool bass line.
For the solo the band really locked into a solid groove. The song through the
breakdown section has several different solo arrangements.
10.) "Susanna" -This track opens with a fairly standard intro. The vocal lines
of the verses have a very third generation eighties metal feel. After the first
chorus Lars plays a very small lead scale. The piano arrangement really filled
in some of the dead spots of the guitar rhythm. The band changes the dynamics
if the song by incorporating a twelve-note rhythm pattern within the music
arrangement. >From time to time Eddie throws in the double bass for flavor.
With Lars Eric Mattsson writing all the songs and the CD being released on
Lion Music I expected a more progressive style CD. But that is not the case
Vision is all balls eighties metal!!! 'On the Edge' is on of those few CD's
that you could put in your CD player and play all the way through
uninterrupted. This CD is an absolute must have.
Vision: On the Edge
Seemingly damned from the beginning, despite the presence of renowned Finnish
guitarist, bassist and keyboardist Lars Eric Mattsson, Vision has gone through
multiple record labels, rotating band lineups and even a split since its
formation in 1992. But now comes On the Edge, a collection of 10 songs — five
written and recorded in 1993 for the band’s never-released second album and five
composed and demoed in 1997. By putting some finishing touches on these tunes in
2003, Vision has issued an album 10 years in the making.
While neoclassical flourishes (“Prove It To You”) and progressive overtones
(“Feels So Strange”) pop up occasionally, On the Edge — along with House of
Shakira’s recently released First Class — is one of the most AOR-oriented albums
to come from Lion Music in quite awhile. Performed entirely by Mattsson, drummer/percussionist
Eddie Sledgehammer (surely that's not the dude’s real name?) and singer John
Jeff Touch, On the Edge sounds like a combination of Zebra, latter-day
Whitesnake, Queen and Winger.
In the liner notes, Touch even thanks Kip Winger for inspiration, and it’s
clear the man has studied the vocal styles of Winger (who, by the way, is a
criminally underrated bass player and singer). With a higher-pitched voice than
Winger, Touch may scream a tad too much for some listeners’ tastes — just listen
to the title track — but his crystalline pipes are no less impressive. And
Mattsson’s level of musicianship and songwriting diversity will likely keep fans
of more-progressive music interested in most of these 10 songs.
1) Mountain of Love (4:51)
2) Girl Goodbye (4:01)
3) Prove It To You (4:53)
4) On the Edge (5:00)
5) Feels So Strange (3:55)
6) Feel the Cold Wind (4:26)
7) Stranded (5:04)
8) Meant to Be (4:21)
9) Keepin’ Your Dreams Alive (4:27)
10) Susanna (6:00)
Total Time: 47:01
Added: June 29th 2004
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Lion Music
Vision : The Best Of
Lion Music / 17 songs
Vision released two albums , one with Conny Lind ( Amaze Me ) and one with Randolph
Reymers on lead vocals .
This compilation cd contains twelve tracks of these two albums , so this cd also
includes 5 bonustracks who were never released on cd until this moment .
These 5 songs are just as good as the twelve others and make this an very interesting
compilation album even if you already have the two first cd´s .
Vision plays Scandinavian AOR/melodic rock but due to the fantastic lead vocals by
Conny Lind (who is one of my favourite Swedish vocalists ever) and the impressive
guitarplaying by Lars Eric Mattsson , Vision definetly sounds different from bands such as
Talk Of The Town , Amaze Me or Bad Habit .
This is an album that will perfectly fit in every melodic rock fan´s cd collection .
Website : www.lionmusic.com
Rating : 80 %
Review by Ronny Elst
Die Band VISION war nicht
gerade vom Glück verfolgt. Nach dem Debütalbum 1992 wurde eine Mini Live-CD aufgenommen,
welche nie veröffentlicht wurde. Das gleiche Schicksal ereilte das zweite Studioalbum der
Schweden. Die Gründe lagen im damaligen Boom der Grunge-Welle und die Band löste sich
auf. Lars Eric Mattsen aktivierte 1997 die Band erneut und es erschien die Scheibe
Till The End Of Time Die geplante Reunion entpuppte sich aber nur als Studioprojekt.
Zum Glück beschert uns das Label Lion Music dieses Album mit 17 hervorragenden AOR und
Hardrock Songs skandinavischer Prägung, von denen fünf bisher unveröffentlicht waren.
Freunde der angesprochenen Musikrichtung können bedenkenlos zuschlagen.
Bewertung: 10 von 12 Punkten. Lorenz www.rock4ever.de
| Review by Roger Brosel of AOR Land :
Conny Lind (V)
Lars Eric Mattsson (G,K)
Tony Mattsson (D)
Micke Ahlskog (B)
LION MUSIC 1998
This is the re-issue (that includes two
extra new tracks) of the debut by Scandinavian melodic rock band Vision. The vocal duties
are carried by Conny Lind (Amaze Me, Talk of the Town...) and the guitars by the leader of
the band: Lars Eric Mattsson who has also released his latest solo album
("Obsession") in 1998. This disc contains all the elements that have built the
Scando unique sound: classical-trained guitars, great keyboard arrangements and singalong
choruses. Vision follows a more AOResque vein that Lars E. Mattsson's solo outcomes, and
to name a few "Making Love in a Dream", "All Over Now" or the amazing
"Round & Round" are in-your-face melodic rock. The only fault I can find is
that all the tunes contain similar patterns and sound.
What about the two extra tracks? They both follow the same vein as the rest of the tracks
and are quite good. The first one, the rocker "Fields of No Return" has a hell
of catchy chorus and the second "I Will Be There" is a mid-tempo with an
breathtaking in-crescendo guitar work by Lars.
If you didn't grabbed a copy when it was originally released (like me!), you will find
Vision's re-issue a more than worth buying album filled with pure Scandinavian melodic
rock. If are a fan of the Finnish guitarist and you are thinking of buying it, I must say
that the two bonus tracks are more than good.
Vision "The Best Of"
© 2000 Lion Music
With numerous lineup changes and significant businessend
problems plaguing their three albums, one of which was never
released, it has often been an unfortunately difficult quest to
find the AOR/melodic hardrock of Vision. This new anthology,
which includes a healthy helping from the unreleased album, is
a great remedy. Although the quality of production and
songwriting are inconsistent across "The Best Of Vision," it is
an impressively melodic collection of rockers and ballads,
fueled by Lars Eric Mattsson's remarkable
Other than a few lessthangripping songs, the set's major
weakness is that it can feel a bit generic, sounding in places
like everyone from Night Ranger to Talisman to Michael
Schenker. The fact that the tracks are taken from three distinct
times with different lineups doesn't help the album achieve
coherence. Still, it is a fantastic way to catch up on Mattsson's
career, and for uninitiated melodic rock fans who can
appreciate somewhat smallfeeling hardrock, it could be quite
a rewarding discovery.
by Eric Aaron, Senior staff writer www.openupandsay.com