Christian Liljegren – Melodic Passion
Release Date: 26/03/2021
Running Time: 49:27
Review by Chris Galea
Christian Liljegren must be the most prolific and hardworking person in Metal…I counted more than 30 albums – released in the last 25 years – that have him as lead vocalist. One is tempted to speculate that the quality of his material would consequentially be diluted. Sometimes, perhaps, but certainly not as far as this album is concerned.
“Melodic Passion” is being touted as a solo album but if you’ve heard Christian’s previous bands…such as Narnia or Golden Resurrection…then “Melodic Passion” is something along those very lines. The lyrics are blatantly religious (e.g. ‘I trust in the Lord to show me the way’…a line from ‘I Breathe’) and I’d concede that the album abounds in clichés. But none of that bothers me because the songwriting quality is superb and Christian Liljegren’s voice has never sounded better…powerful, melodic and unfaltering. Of course, it helps that I have a soft spot for neo-classical melodies, of which “Melodic Passion” has many.
‘History’ reminds me of “Trilogy” era Malmsteen; I sensed a strong influence from early Dio in ‘Salute For The King’ and ‘The Victory’. And a lot of the guitar solos feel directly inspired by Rainbow and Alcatrazz. Stryper is another obvious comparison, both lyrically and musically.
With Liljegren are the cream of the crop of Scandinavian Melodic Metal, including drummer Andreas ‘Habo’ Johansson and bassist Per Schelander, both with Royal Hunt at one point. Completing the line-up are two ex-bandmates of Liljegren: Stephen Carlson on guitars and Olov Andersson on keyboards.
The songs tend to be anthemic and loaded with hooks. All this makes them eminently suitable to be performed live. One example is ‘The Rock’, which, in addition to a catchy chorus has some impressive high-end screams and great guitar harmonies.
The title says it all…so if you check out one Melodic Metal album this year, let it be this one.
‘Salute For The King’ (Official Video)
01. Melodic Passion
02. Salute For The King
03. The Rock
04. This Is My Love Song
05. The Victory
06. Dead Or Alive
07. I Breathe
09. Third Day
10. My King
Christian Liljegren – Vocals (Narnia, The Waymaker, Audiovision, Modest Attraction)
Stephen Carlson – Guitars (Brotthog, Tales, The Rise, Gil Edwards)
Per Schelander – Bass (Astrakhan, House of Shakira, Pain of Salvation, Royal Hunt)
Andreas ‘Habo’ Johansson – Drums (Narnia, Royal Hunt, Avatarium, The Doomsday Kingdom)
Olov Andersson – Keyboards (Audiovision, Grand Stand, Veni Domine)
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