Lancer comes out of Swedish metal scene; formed by five guys from the Music Academy of Ingesund, Arvika. They are, Isak Stenvall – Vocals, Peter Ellström – Guitars, Fredrik Kelemen – Guitars, Emil Öberg – Bass and Sebastian Pedernera – Drums. They met in 2009, and its their love for metal that stemmed the unavoidable, that through a common interest a band would form. During the Spring of 2012 they burst onto the scene with the release of their EP “Purple Sky”, which met with favourable review and saw them catch the eyes of Swedish record label Doolittle Group AB. A label of which is becoming synonymous for releasing some great albums, by some high calibre bands.
Thus the debut album will be released on Jan. 18th 2013 (Dec. 26th 2012 in Japan), produced by Tommy Reinxeed and mixed by Ronny Milianowicz , and the band will then set out to conquer the power metal scene! These guys hit it the mark with their technical brilliance; coupling that with their energetic sound, leaving the listener wanting more.
The vocals sung by Isak Stenvall come across energetic and confident, bursting with life and legitimacy. His charismatic delivery is key to the addictiveness of the music. You can hear the influence of Michael Kiske (ex-Helloween ) through most of the album. “Young and Alive” is a great example of his charismatic vocal delivery, the song is heaped in energy, the delivery is explosive. There is a certain 80’s metal appeal to their sound, mixed with just enough modern elements that give it a ‘heavier’ delivery without detracting from the 80’s metal influences. It’s those 80’s metal influences that attracted me to this release, and they do it so well. Seventh Angel has introductionary similarities to “Run to the hills” by Iron Maiden, but the song falls into its own after that with driving, jugging guitars. Songs like “Seventh Angel” are remarkable in terms of lyrical composition too, and show cases the band as not only capable of great riff’s and melody’s but as competent lyrical maestro’s. With their talented musical abilities we are given a show that is memorable and innovative.
The two guitarists Peter Ellström and Fredrik Kelemen do form a perfect unit, and You’ll notice throughout the album that there is a lot of melody in the guitar playing, like in”Mr Starlight”, with some amazingly powerful riffs being pounded out, which adds substance to that old fashioned heavy metal touch of which they capture so well in their power metal sound. In fact they add new life to the power metal genre. You won’t find mediocrity anywhere on the album. Their songs are Anthem infused monsters of epic proportions. Emil Öberg has an aggressive, technical and fast style of performing, his bass playing skills are best etched in songs like, “Purple Sky” and “Dreamchasers” for me. His powerful playing plays as a strength in the bands delivery and overall energy. It is cited that his main inspirations are Steve Harris (Iron Maiden) and Dirk Schlächter (Gamma Ray). His bass playing is a convincing dimension to the overall sound.
The drummer Sebastian Pedernera has his roots in the Swedish death metal scene but draws his inspiration from everything between extreme metal to Swedish underground jazz. His varied and forceful style of playing forms the very foundation which Lancer’s music stand upon. I enjoyed his drumming on “Dreamchasers”. “Don’t go changing” is a great circa 80’s metal song, hitting all those great 80’s metal cue’s , and if it was not for the very good production and very full bass driven sound, one would think it from that era. “Between the devil and the deep” is a great closer to the album, it’s not their best song, but brings the closing to a otherwise epical, well accomplished release to a tidy ending, deserving of a glass raised high in salute.
The trademark of the band will always be the songs and their feeling for making hit melodies, over technical virtuosity.
Lancer brings new air to the power metal scene – keeping the spirit and legacy of European power metal alive, with well written songs. If you are a fan of technical mastery in a song, then this is a band for you, but that is not the only highlight as they mix it up with wonderful melody’s and aggressive playing that are in keeping with the spirit and legacy of European power metal through well written songs that are fantastic to sit back and listen to over ones stereo system. Their adrenaline infused metal, combined with their technical prowess, should entail a riot of a live show! If I am to claw for a weak point in the album, I’d say this kind of music is more at home on a live show than an actual album. Its impact should be greater and the energetic playing should be a great show to witness. So I leave it now to you to decide, but I tell you that this self-titled release will not disappoint.
For fans of Iron Maiden, Helloween, Gamma Ray,
Written by Donovan de Necker
1 Purple Sky
2 The Exiled
3 Young And Alive
4 Seventh Angel
5 Don’t Go Changing
7 Mr. Starlight
8 Deja Vu
9 Between The Devil And The Deep
Isak Stenvall – Vocals
Peter Ellström – Guitars
Fredrik Kelemen – Guitars
Emil Öberg – Bass
Sebastian Pedernera – Drums
Reaching Higher (Demo 2010)
Purple Sky (EP 2012)
Record Label: Doolittle Group, Jan. 2013
Buy the album here:
Holland & Worldwide: First Paradox Metalrecords