Oh come on, it’s called “Steel Attack.” What do you think it’ll sound like?
ZEELION is back, six years after the release of their self-titled debut. The Swedish Melodic/Power Rock/Metal group has received some critical acclaim in the past. Let’s see if they hold up.
Immediately similarities arise between ZEELION and YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, though that must even more immediately be qualified. Guitarist Sudden (I love that name!) is a capable shredder, but he’s nowhere near Yngwie’s level. Rather, we’re dealing with the same sort of structure in an Yngwie song when Malmsteen isn’t wailing on his axe to excess. I was often reminded of RHAPSODY as well—if they removed the choirs, classic instruments and Luca Turilli’s own excesses, focusing on the straight metal parts.
That’d be a valid description for about half of the album. Songs like “Burn”, “Steel Attack”, and “Wind Of Time” sound like things Yngwie would have produced. “Shadows” breaks the pattern by sounding like classic CANDLEMASS (except during the chorus), with vocalist Lenny de Rose doing a suitable impression of Messiah before he decided vibrato all the time was the way to go. “Black Hearted Woman”” would have gained ZEELION a stadium tour in the age of DOKKEN and CINDERELLA. “Into The Twilight” is a bit faster and more technical than most of what we’ve heard so far.
Sudden is a good guitarist playing the same riffs and solos we’ve heard before, but Lenny de Rose gets on my nerves, especially with the layering and minor effects he uses and the rest of the band is just there. This band probably kicks ass live, because they know when to hit the right, tried and true notes. On the album, however, it’s clear that this isn’t anything new. Some bands manage to make albums we’ve heard before and make it work, but unfortunately ZEELION just makes us want to listen to the originals. (Online May 2, 2006)