|Thobbe Englund - 'Sold My Soul' (Metalville)|
|Written by Marc Leach|
|Monday, 13 March 2017 04:30|
Okay before I get started on this review I just want to get something off my chest; I have never listened to Swedish metallers, Sabaton. So you can imagine my surprise when oh-fearless-leader of Über Rock passed me the new solo album from former Sabaton guitarist, Thobbe Englund; ‘Sold My Soul.’ I suppose fresh ears to new material are always useful, huh?
With a smaller band lineup, Thobbe is now at the helm as lead guitarist and lead vocalist - plus most of this piece of material was recorded in his studio in Falun, Sweden. The title track, ‘Sold My Soul’, and ‘Annihilation’ kick starts the heavy-metal-ruckus with a sound as if Judas Priest and Motorhead had a love child, with Englund providing a Rob Halford-esque vocal performance.
It is obvious that while writing this album, Englund is keeping his influences close to his heart which sometimes isn't a bad thing, however this is where you have a mishmash of different styles that dampens the overall song flow. The short pieces ‘The Glow’ and ‘The Ashes’ (or ‘Black Sabbath’ under a different title) are the key examples as the record goes from heavy metal to stoner rock which doesn't sit well with the track list.
Thankfully the pace picks up once again for the catchy ‘Steel And Thunder’ and ‘Tragen Winner,’ a song which is written and sung in Englund’s native tongue. Both these songs in particular not only show signs of a Deep Purple/UFO influence but it’s where keyboardist Elon Andersson’s hammond organ effect adds depth to the tracks. There are two reasons as to why I am glad for the final numbers of this album; reason number one will be stated at the end of this review, but ‘Wounded Knee’ and ‘Farewell’ are, quite frankly, the strongest songs off this record. Throughout this record it felt as though the band were trying hard to find their identity with their style mixtures but it’s these two songs in particular that stand out; ‘Wounded Knee’ especially.
Oh yeah! You guys wanted to know the first reason as to why I was happy for the end of this album? So, this is where I get something else off my chest: I am personally not fussed on this album. A mixture of mediocre songs (that sounded like already released songs), a bland production plus a flat performance from the band make this record extremely disappointing.
This reviewer isn't sure who Thobbe and his posse sold their souls to... but I would ask for a refund.
'Sold My Soul' is out now.
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