PelleK – Bag Of Tricks


The name of PelleK should be known to many of you by now. Some of you might know him as he was a participant of the Norwegian TV show ‘The X Factor’ in 2009, in which he ended in the top 12. Or maybe you know him as the lead vocalist of Damnation Angels or The Anabasis. And if that all does not ring a bell yet, maybe this does: he has done a lot of covers of metal songs, which he placed on YouTube and got a total of over two million views on it. He, for example, did Stratovarius ‘Hunting High And Low’ and Kamelot’s ‘Center Of The Universe’. Together with Tommy Johansson (ReinXeed) he covered ‘The Look’ (Roxette) and Iron Maiden’s ‘Run To Hills (Walt Disney style) and they wrote the funny song ‘Nothing But Metal’. It is over with the covers for now: PelleK releases his debut album ‘Bag Of Tricks’. Let’s see what he has in store for us.

The album opens in almost the same theatrical way as a Reinxeed album does. But (s)he who expects that the album follows the same musical direction as Reinxeed will be in for a surprise. ‘Fugue Statue’, ‘Reason And Psychosis’ and the instrumental ‘Bag Of Tricks’ hold some similar elements, but it is mainly AOR, light power metal and melodic (hard) rock, and not bombastic neoclassical power metal, what PelleK displays on his solo album. It results in interesting tracks like the previous mentioned ‘Reason And Psychosis’, ‘Bag Of Tricks’ and ‘Thundernight’, but just as easy – and unfortunately predominantly – in compositional setbacks such as the ballad ‘Send My Message Home’, ‘Don’t’ Belong’, ‘Born In Babylon’ and ‘Conflagrate My Heart’. The tracks are often too predictable, too interchangeable to get interesting at any point. The presence of a lot of guests – Tommy Johansson (ReinXeed, Golden Resurrection, Charlie Shred), Marit Børresen, Tommy Karevik (Seventh Wonder), Anders R.S, Oliver Hartmann (At Vance & Hartmann) and Amanda Somerville (Avantasia, Trillium) – cannot prevent this impression.
That PelleK knows how to sings goes without saying. His range is enormous and his voice fits the melodic rock/metal well. And yet, despite his enormous abilities some tracks (e.g. ‘Stare Into My Eyes’) sometimes just miss that little bit extra, a little bit of soul.

In general, ‘Bag of Tricks’ holds its’ rare, enjoyable moments; I wonder though what the expiration date of the album is. I myself fear that – because of the predictability and lack of emotion – it will bore me quickly, but that is something you have to judge for yourself.

Rating: 55/100

Written by Patrick

Track list:
1. Entrance
2. Fugue State
3. Reason And Psychosis
4. Send My Message Home
5. Thundernight
6. Win
7. Don’t Belong
8. Stare Into My Eyes
9. Born In Babylon
10. Bag Of Tricks
11. Conflagrate My Heart

PelleK- Lead & backing vocals & keyboards
Tommy ReinXeed – Guitars, bass, keyboards, backing vocals, orchestration, drums & programming
Gisha – Guitars

Record Label: Liljegren Records / Doolittle Group, May 2012

Weblinks PelleK: Website / Facebook / Twitter

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