Nils Patrik Johansson
Evil Deluxe

1. Baal
2. Evil Deluxe
3. Estonia
4. Gasoline
5. How The West Was Won
6. September Black
7. Kings And Queens
8. Burning
9. Metalhead
10. Circle In The Sky
11. Dark Evolution
12. A Waltz For Paris

Nils Patrik Johansson - vocals
Lars Chriss - guitars
Nils Fredrik Johansson - drums
Anders "Andy" Loos - bass
Marcus Bengts - bass
Fredrik Bergh - keyboards
Kay Backlund - keyboards
Anuviel - keyboards


Chris Boltendahl - vocals

Mixed and Produced by Lars Chriss
Mastered by Mike Lind
Cover art by Mattias Hinders
Booklet Layout by Claudio Brenig

Released 2018-05-25
Reviewed 2018-05-06


Nils Patrik Johansson makes his first solo album called Evil Deluxe that is claimed to be an album going back to the roots of heavy metal, a nostalgic album looking back rather than forward. He is known for being the singer of Astral Doors and Lion’s Share and often compared with the late great Ronnie James Dio, a comparison I never really subscribe to as Dio’s vocal style feels like it comes naturally while the good old Nils sounds like he is sitting on the toilet working hard to excrete some waste products whilte singing. I have always had that niggle with the bands where he sings, that the vocals feel imitated and lifeless and the albums probably would have been better with different vocals. So how about his first solo album then, is Evil Deluxe different from his other works?

It sounds quite like a romanticised vision of heavy metal from the past, an album that keeps looking back in time to the dream of an idealised past that never really existed. At least that is how it sounds to me. Decent production, unfortunately Johansson sings like he always does which is mostly detrimental to my enjoyment of the album. The production is decent, nothing that stands out and the same can be said about the style of the album as the songs feels just like a nostalgic emulation of past metallic glories – not very original I have to say, good thing is that it is kept relatively short.

Little of an amusing nostalgic album of heavy metal silliness, I like it. It is a good album in most regards but hardly anything amazing, for one thing the vocals are as dreary as they usually are when Johansson is involved and the album could just have been something by Astral Doors as there is hardly anything that makes this album unique. I thought for a second that the vocals would be good when I heard the opening verse of the first real song which is the title track, and the verse is really great in terms of both vocals and melody but the chorus is generic at best, I think the insanely boring chorus makes the song less good than it could have been. The song called Kings and Queens is another song I like, it is sort of biographical but that one is also a bit dampened by dreary vocals.

So, in the end I find this album quite agreeable and all that, a nostalgic album looking back at times long past. The problem is though that if I want this kind of music there is Holy Diver, Somewhere in Time, British Steel and many others from that era that I can listen to instead of this one, they are much more interesting and original than this can ever be. Not the most exciting album I have ever heard but it is quite nice and if you like this never-changing and nostalgic view many heavy metalists take it might be enough to make you happy.





Label: Metalville
Three similar bands: Astral Doors/Wuthering Heights/Lion's Share

Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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