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Year: 2005
Format: CD
Label: Lion Music
Genre: [Progressive Metal]
Overall Rating: 8.0
Music: 7.5
Production: 8.0

Lars Eric Mattsson's rock opera about the state of Earth is finally ready. Carrying the title "WAR!" this album has been built around war (which is possible to deduct even from the song titles). This time 'round the vocals are performed by several well-known singers. For example, Irene Janssen (Ayreon, Star One), Lance King (ex-Empire, Balance of Power, Pyramaze...), Mark Boals (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen, Ring of Fire), Andre Vuurboom (Sun Caged) and Björn Jansson (Tears of Anger, Imaginery) can be heard on this album. Also Vitalij Kuprij (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen, Ring of Fire, Artension...) is featured on this album with keyboard solos on four songs. Judging by the line-up, it's rather easy to have high expectations from this release.

Stylistically the music on WAR! is progressive metal with some symphonic influences as well as oriental and even slight latin influences. The material is at times very successful, but there are also sections that don't appeal to me. For example, there's slightly too much gimmickry every now and then (and those sections don't always blend to the songs well). However, on average the songs are rather good and the diversity of this album is commendable.

The production on WAR! was handled by Lars Eric Mattsson at the New Lion's Cage, Åland, Finland. In addition to his recordings, additional recordings were done by Joost Van Den Broek, Arjen Lucassen, Mark Boals, Lance King, Vitalij Kuprij and Björn Jansson among few others. For the most part the sounds are very successful, but slight distortion & clipping did occur few times... fortunately very seldom, and thus the production contributes to the overall impression of WAR! positively.

Mattsson's WAR! is refreshing progmetal album that has its strengths as well as few weaknesses. Nonetheless, it's definitely worth checking out in case you like the singers and are open-minded when it comes to music.

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- MAGE (May 23rd, 2005)

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Mattsson, Lars Eric: All Guitars, Bass, Keyboards and Additional
Vocals on "War Suite Concerto"
The Astral Chamber Orchestra: Strings
Sledgehammer, Eddie: Drums and Percussion
Watanabe, Yoshi: Additional Percussion

Janssen, Irene: Lead and Backing Vocals on "Where's Our Chance" and
"A Dreamer's Lullaby"
King, Lance: Lead and Backing Vocals on "Your Dream"
Boals, Mark: Lead Vocals on "Deep in the Shadows"
Vuurboom, Andre: Lead and Backing Vocals on "Smoke and Mirrors"
Jansson, Björn: Lead and Backing Vocals on "This Is the End"
Grussner, Ella: Choir (Tracks 1, 2, 4 & 7) and Lead and Backing
Vocals on "War Suite Concerto"
Sarling, Cocki: Choir (Tracks 1, 2, 4 & 7) and Lead and Backing
Vocals on "War Suite Concerto"
Mattsson, Mikaela: Choir on "Deep in the Shadows"
Sjarnfelt, Nicke: Choir on "War Suite Concerto"
Tormanoff, Stella: Additiona Vocals on "Requiem"
Kuprij, Vitalij: Keyboard Solos on "Your Dream", "Smoke and Mirrors",
"This Is the End" and "Requiem"
Producer: Mattsson, Lars Eric
Mixing by: Mattsson, Lars Eric
Mastering by: Unavailable
Mattsson - WAR!  CD  Cover Image
01. Where's Our Chance
02. Your Dream
03. Deep in the Shadows
04. Smoke and Mirrors
05. A Dreamer's Lullaby
06. This is the End
07. War Suite Concerto
   I. The Tension is Growing
  II. Attack!!!
 III. Chant of the Angels
  IV. Who Are You?
   V. Anthem of Fools
  VI. Victory of the Hungry
 VII. Chant of the Angels Reprise
VIII. the Truth
08. Requiem

Length: 63:18
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