1. Purple Sky
2. The Exiled
3. Young and Alive
4. Seventh Angel
5. Don’t go Changing
6. Dreamchasers
7. Mr. Starlight
8. Deja Vu
9. Between the Devil and the Deep

Isak Stenvall - Vocals
Fredrik Kelemen - Guitars
Sebastian Pedernera – Drums
Peter Ellström - Guitars
Emil Öberg - Bass

Purple Sky (EP 2012)


produced by Tommy Reinxeed
mixed by Ronny Milianowicz

Released 2013-01-18
Reviewed 2013-04-16

doolittle group

Christian Liljegren and Tommy Johansson never ends to surprise me, they seems to be able to "get" mentioned on every album released by the Doolittle Group. If they aren't both mentioned somewhere than at least one of them are regardless wether they've had anything with the album to do or not and so also on this album. Liljegren hasn't had anything to do at all with this album, still his name right there. Why? I have no idea. Johansson has at least produced this album so I understand why he's mentioned.

Anyway, let's move on and let that be. Perhaps they disappear if we don't mention them?

Lancer is a Swedish band that has released one EP before this full length debut, released last year and had the same name as the first track of the album. The cover art looks to be some sort of war-ostrich in a sea of demons and the logo looks extremely inspired by the Danish manga series Taynikma. I don't hear any further relations to Taynikma on the album but the logo is really too similar to not get a comment (I better mention that I haven't read either Taynikma or the lyrics from Lancer so maybe there are similarities I'm not aware of). The music also have big similarities with other things and I think Helloween and Iron Maiden in particular. I don't think similarities with other bands is a major problem for a band as long as they aren't too big and unfortunately that's exactly what they are on this album. It's almost tragicomic that they have a song called Deja Vu on this album because that's exactly what lancer is - a big fucking deja vu.

But let's not jump too far ahead, let's start from the beginning. The popularity of heavy and power metal has died off pretty good these last five or six years and isn't even close to the peak of interest they had in the end of the 90's and beginning of the 00's. However, a few bands has showed up lately playing this kind of metal again and perhaps this is the generation that was inspired by the last wave making their interpretation on this genre. Lancer on the other hand seems to have left their interpretation at home when they went to the studio to record 'Lancer' because as far as I can tell there isn't a single thing that's special for Lancer on this album. Everything just feels meaningless and plagiarized, just like Bonafide and Bullet - it doesn't matter if they make this music better than the originals if they haven't got something that distinguish them from the others. According to the band photos they even dress identical to Iron Maiden in the 80's. You might think that it's a good thing that bands play this kind of music since the originals have stopped doing it or isn't able to do it like before anymore but in my opinion they could and should have made it a cover band then. Don't waste my time making Xerox copies of other peoples music and then call it your own music because had all bands worked that way we wouldn't have anything that sounded new at all and I don't think even these copy-specialists would want that.

Yeah, yeah - we get the point Mr Pessimist. Get to the performance now! Well, in my opinion they perform this music very well. The production sounds clear and clean, instrumentally they make everything right and the songs are striking and not suffocated by a poor sound anywhere. Technically it's top notch and instrumentally as well, they guys in Lancer clearly knows their way around their equipment and Isak Stenvall on vocals is also very good, provided you like Michael Kiske and similar high pitched vocalists doing their thing in falsetto. I can't say I've heard anyone be this similar to Kiske on the 'Keepers of The Seven Keys' albums since Kiske recorded them 25 years ago - not even Kiske himself. If you liked those albums you'll most probably like Lancer as well because there's actually nothing on this album that's worse than Helloween on those album - in fact with the better production on this album this is probably better… there's just one problem.

How could a person that loves music ever acknowledge something that hasn't written their own music? I know, I know - Lancer has written the music for this album, in the same way as DJs write their own songs when they sample anything and everything from other songs. I guess there is some sort of artistic performance in doing songs like this as well - taking pieces out of other artists work and puzzle it together so it sounds somewhat different but working as a song and not be completely chaotic. I don't think Lancer make something that's worse than the originals but at the same time they don't improve it either. It sounds good, but I still don't like it.

Technically it's a great album so they get full credit on that part. Emotionally, however, it's a different story. From an individual and creative perspective it's completely rubbish. I think people that love this genre will love Lancer equally much because they really play power metal well and I - as a power metal lover - will probably also play Lancer a few times every now and then in the future. It is a decent performance but Lancer really need something that makes their music different from Helloween. And Iron Maiden. And Heaven's Gate. And Hammerfall. And Gamma ray. And Freedom Call. And all the other bands they sound like. Unfortunately I can't anything that makes them that on this album, but I hope they could find something that makes them that in the future becase then I can't see anything stopping them from reaching the really high scores.



Label: Doolittle/Connecting Music
Three similar bands: Iron Maiden/Helloween/Steelwing
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm

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