City Of Lights RecordsSERIAL:
2017COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: LINEUP:
Oz Osukaru - guitar, keyboards * Fredrik Werner - vocals, guitar * Lisa Eugenia - keyboards, vocals * Olof Gadd - bass * Vidar Martensson - drumsTRACK LISTING:
01 Maze Of Mind * 02 The Stories We Tell * 03 Voices In The Dark * 04 Edge Of Night * 05 It's Only Forever * 06 Voodoo (Who Do) * 07 Poisonous * 08 Undying Rose * 09 The Offering * 10 Moonlight SilhouetteRATING: WEBLINKS: Osukaru FB Page
Osukaru have certainly withstood the flames of the fire as generated by this website. But I can safely say this lot are now one of my favourite Swedish bands, and their output is testament to that. I have been looking forward to 'The Labyrinth' for several months now, and with its arrival comes another review. Firstly, the theme of the album is all about the David Bowie/Jennifer Connelly movie 'Labyrinth', which gets a fair dose of love from Oz and the team, given the album title. It's an unusual concept to say the least, where the navigation of the album follows the circumstances in the movie, apparently, though I can't confirm it without watching the movie again. Now that is devotion taken to a new level. Does that mean we will get a power metal concept album based on the Game Of Thrones series in years to come? Let's hope so.
There's an abundance of strong guitar work, supported by intricate keyboard leads and layers. I think at some point in the past I used fellow Swedes Alyson Avenue
as a comparison, and it applies here again, obviously the female lead vocals come into play, though I have to say that Lisa Eugenia's voice is very good but hovers in the mid-range rather than the higher realms. There are numerous highlights for me. 'The Stories That We Tell' provides a solid platform for Osukaru to launch, the guitar parts reminiscent of today's style of melodic rock. 'Voices In The Dark' features Lisa Eugenia's vocal work, which certainly is a point of difference. She sounds great on 'It's Only Forever'. As on the previous albums, the two lead singers (male and female) combine on duets. I'll admit I'm still not a big fan of Fredrik Werner's voice, I think he oversings his parts and tends to dominate when combined with Lisa Eugenia. 'Undying Rose' is a good example of this. However I will say this, Fredrik excels when Osukaru really kick into high gear, especially on songs like 'Voodoo (Who Do)' and 'The Offering'. The male vocal and the heavier guitars obviously work well in tandem. The melodic rock tracks tend to work better when Lisa Eugenia is singing, so there in lies the answer.
Oz advises that 'The Labyrinth' has an overload of keyboards not heard since 2012's 'Salvation', and that the guitars might be touch heavier than heard previously. I wouldn't disagree with that observation either, as I'm hearing pretty much the same thing. 'The Labyrinth' is a tale of two parts, when their songs are sung by either of their singers. For me, I recognize the band's strengths and prefer to focus on those. Mostly though, the songs are generally appealing, and this continues an upward trend for Oz and his band of merry musicians.
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