On the docket today we have “The Leadstar”, the sophomore album from Finnish guitarist Elias Viljanen (who refers to himself as E.Vil, clever huh?). Well the music here is anything but evil, instead, it’s mostly upbeat and uplifting, guitar-driven, Instrumental Rock and Metal. While this isn’t really my taste, it is very well done.
There is a lot of variation to be found on “The Leadstar”, which is certainly a plus. Instrumental albums aren’t granted the luxury of getting away with sounding the same throughout, something that many albums with vocals can get away with (look at the entire RUNNING WILD catalogue). The tracks here range from Melodic Metal (“High-Powered” and “Northern Storm”), to ballad-esque and dreamy (“Touching The Sky” and “Follow The Leadstar”), to grooving, 1970s inspired-Rock (“Magic Seven” and “Evilized”). And to top things off, “Hello” is a Lionel Richie cover.
My only really complaint with “The Leadstar” is that many of the songs left me wishing there were vocals. I’m a big fan of vocals and would really like to see Elias Viljanen incorporate some singing into future efforts.
All in all, “The Leadstar” is a good album, but I personally miss the vocals. But if you are looking for some well-performed Instrumental Rock and Metal, “The Leadstar” is recommended. (Online February 5, 2006)