Chasing Shadows

1. We paint december
2. Far from grace
3. Chasing Shadows
4. High Hopes
5. Liar
6. Lodestar
7. Tears with a smile
8. Not quite sober
9. Nicole
10. Wait
11. Farewell

Sammy Salminen (Vocals)
Mika Rajala (Bass)
Samuel Hjelt (uitar & vocals)
Juha Wahlsten (Guitar & vocals)
Timo Rajala (Drums)

The Dawn (2006)
Beyond the Dark (2007)

Agnes pihlava (Vocals on 7)
Tomppa Nikulainen (keyboards)

Hiili Hiilesmaa (producer, mixer & Engineer)
Minna Annola (photo)
Sami Kivelä (art)

Released 27/1-2012
Reviewed 22/7-2012

dks music

It doesn't matter that Ancara has a well-known producer with lots of great bands in his CV and a decent record label, some success back in their home country of Finland and world-wide distribution, I can't help feeling that Ancara in many ways symbolise exactly what's the problem for bands outside the major labels today. They are referred to a completely different market with inferior sound and distribution to those privileged with the money. Ancara could be so good, but this whole production is just so flat and beige and the songs that actually are pretty well played and well written is constantly missing out on getting everything together and capturing that right sound that makes them sound breathtaking and great.

'Chasing Shadows' was released way back in 2009 in Finland but it was first this year they had the opportunity to get a world wide distribution. I've been checking up the band and this album thoroughly and it seems more than I are a bit disappointed by the album. It's the least successful of the three albums the band has released and also lacks hits with their singles and the thing with it is not the songs in themselves, but how they're presented on the album by the entire production with it's flat and plain sound, the monotony in tempo and the lack of startling elements where no eyebrows are raised, no cheeks drops and no heart racing.

The instruments and vocals all sounds quite typical for rock music, performed with a quite typical rock musician approach. Nothing amazes you anywhere and though everything sounds good, nothing calls for your attention and makes you want to explore it a bit extra. Music an melodies are good, but not starling, and they can make my neck and head nod a little in tact with the music but I would hardly call it euphoria or even joy and there are several reasons for this, with the biggest of course being the already mentioned production. Then there's the tempo of the songs that sticks like glue on a mid-tempo basis, as well as the lack of hit songs. This is music that ought to, would and should have hit songs, but they're just not there on 'Chasing Shadows'. A few of the later songs on the album are decent, like Lodestar, Tears With A Smile and even Not Quite Sober (the later two you could see on video below), but not even these are really impressing. I would say they're like this album overall… good, but not really interesting.

The songs are not too similar to each other, but they still sound very similar when you listen to them on the album and they seems to be made from the same pattern. I feel these eleven songs (or even ten, depending on edition) gets too long, despite ticking in below 45 minutes (40 in the ten track edition) and it just gets a bit too much of that which we get from 'Chasing Shadows' on this album. I haven't heard their previous albums, but I've browsed them on the Internet and found a few songs from each album, which indicates that they've soften up a bit and gone a little less hard rock on this album. if this is true and wether we can blame this for the dullness of 'Chasing Shadows' or not I leave uncommented, since I haven't heard enough of the older albums to really tell, but I think 'Chasing Shadows' have serious identity problems that conceals the fact that this album have decent songs and is pretty well made. In the end, I have to say that this album lacks every kind of inspiration and energy I usually get from listening to good albums, hence I must say thanks - but no thanks. I will not go chase their shadows.



Label: DKS Music Oy
Three similar bands: Carmen Gray/Free Spirit/Leverage
Rating: HHHHHHH (3/7)
Recensent: Caj Källmalm

läs på svenska