It’s been roundabout a year that a young Swedish band called PLATITUDE came out with its debut “Secrets Of Life” and didn’t really leave a lasting impression with me. Classically influenced Power Metal of the Swedish school, excellently played, very well written, also with a great production, but not more, a good debut, but nothing that would really stick to your memory.
Now we have “Nine“ and who, almost logically, would not expect a stilistically coherent follow-up, will be surprised with the Swedes’ second album, for the gentlemen have mostly thrown their neo-classical Metal over board and re-oriented them a bit, what I have to say has been a quite good idea, because on this album PLATITUDE show us a mix of Power Metal and Melodic Metal with some progressive elements, which really fits very nicely.
“Dark Mind“ sets out more than good and unleashes “Nine“ in good fashion, impressively showing us the “new” style. The song is fast, very well done, with a nicely mid-pitched voice and also a certain dramatic edge, which is brought in by the keyboards, this is fun! After “Trust” has decreased the tempo a bit, “Oblivion” crosses over into Melodic Metal, also with calmer passages and a little less guitars, but for that with very good dynamics and again strong vocals by Erik, just to top that off even with “Halcyon Days”, very good melody and also very catchy!
“Catch 22“ then stands between Melodic and Power Metal, with well implemented keyboards, powerful vocals and interesting rhythm, before “Avalon Farewell“ shows us the slower, more emotional, almost balladesque side of the band. So you see, PLATITUDE anno 2004 are anything but a platitude, because show themselves as a dynamic, powerful band that is on the best way to find its own sound.
And also sound wise “Nine“ is absolutely up to par, as on the debut Tommy Hansen took care of the production and it is great again and the cover by Mattias Norén also looks interesting, I’m just not all that sure, what the band wants to express with it actually…
But anyways, the stylistic change was the most probably best thing PLATITUDE could have done to get away from the impending drowning in the mass and I must say that the evolution is remarkable. If they continue like this, then next year should see their third album and a real cracker! (Online May 12, 2004)