Welcome to the Theater


Tommy ReinXeed (Vocals, guitars, keyboards & orchestration)
Calle Sundberg (Lead guitars & backing vocals)
Nic Steel (Bass & backing vocals)
Alfred Fridhagen (Drums)

The Light (2008)
Higher (2009)
Majestic (2010)
1912 (2011)



Released 30/5-2012
Reviewed 30/6-2012

rival records

In 2002, the Dutch musical genius Arjen Anthony Lucassen released his album Star One 'Space Metal' which is an album that, like this one, is a thematic album inspired from and lyrically about the world of film. When Arjen did his album he focused mainly on science fiction and particularly space movies (hence the name "space metal") but Reinxeed doesn't make any selections like that - they pick and choose from anything and everything they like from the world of cinema. For example, the album begins with the Jurassic Park inspired Life Will Find A Way, which is followed by Star Wars forces, super hero music in Save Us and so on until it ends with Indiana Jones in the Temple Of The Crystal Skulls. Except from the eight movie inspired songs we get an opening called Welcome and then concluded by the title track Welcome To The Theater.

An obvious problem emerges as soon as I start to play this album: where have they put their personal reflections on the films they've made songs about? Where is the grandness and intrigue that all of these movies give you? The tempo is just fast, fast, fast and nothing else almost the entire 52 minutes that the album lasts and except of a few symphonic arrangements that's forced in to the music once or twice in all songs, most of this albums also sounds depressingly similar to everything else with the thematic lyrics massively forced upon the music as the biggest difference between the songs. I feel the whole thing reminds me strangely much about '1912' - the last album by Reinxeed that was released last year and was a thematic album about Titanic, which sunk in 1912, 99 years before the album - in the manner that this entire album feels rapidly thrown together based on some cheap power metal template where lyrics and arrangements far from always work together with that particular template.

Let me give you some power metal history, if you're not familiar with the scene. About ten years ago, power metal was the biggest thing within and for the scene of hard rock due to a huge wave of bands coming forth, led by acts like Hammerfall, Edguy, Sonata Arctica and Rhapsody of Fire. They took the hard rock back to the charts after years of absence following the wave of depressing American rock in the early 90's with genres like grunge, nu-metal and emo. Now, ten years later power metal is pretty much a thing of the pass, despite the big four from the last era still makes big fuzz. The huge number of bands they took with them, though, are not as active or popular these days. There were hundreds of bands from all around the world, like Spain where Arwen, Dark Moor and Red Wine did their best to be noticed. Or France, where Alkemyst and Heavenly tried their best. Or italy, where we had bands like Sexret Sphere and Elvenking. Or Denmark with Iron Fire and Anubis Gate. Or even Sweden, from where Steel Attack, The Storyteller and Cryonic Temple fought for success. All of these bands had minor success, but none of them really broke through and despite making pretty decent music, none of them could distinguish themselves enough from the herd of power metal acts back then. Today the range is a hell of a lot thinner so you don't need to do as much to be noticed anymore. However, Reinxeed doesn't even try the minimum - they just make calk copies of the music that the horde of bands that didn't succeed wrote, which was a weak copy already from the beginning so you can imagine how weak this copy is.

The album just completely lacks that whole emotional package within music and lyrics. They might be inspired by movies we all know and love but the result just isn't inspiring at all to hear. To illustrate the movies better with his songs, Arjen Lucassen had several guest voices that helped him capture that special feeling he searched for. Reinxeed hasn't done any of that. Except for three words in one of the songs sung by some female vocalist (not credited anywhere where I've researched the album) Tommy "Johansson" Reinxeed himself does all the vocals with some help of his fellow musicians. Arjen also put lengthy parts in most songs where he just let the music flow instrumentally in both high and low tempo. Reinxeed does none of that either. They just push the gas pedal to the floor almost throughout the entire album and where they've lifted it's too short parts and badly timed to make any kind of difference. If the creators of the movies they've tried to illustrate would hear this album, I honestly think they'd all be sick. It's just a pathetic attempt on doing grand power metal with bombastic elements and it ends up being flat, boring and annoying as it's not even scraping the surface of the emotion sea. The music is poor, the vocals are weak, the production is not bad but quite far from good and the whole performance just feels like a vile power metal album and an even worse thematic album.

In other words, not much has gone right with this album. The only thing I actually think is decent are the symphonic arrangements they've putted in the music, but they are all so carelessly placed where they are and also too short to do anything to compensate the lack of everything else they've done wrong on this album. I mean… they've even misspelled the title. Embarrassing!



Label: Liljegren Records/Doolittle/Connecting Music
Three similar bands: Golden Resurrection/Sabaton/Pellek
Rating: HHHHHHH (2/7)
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm

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