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On disc: Alyson Avenue

Changes - Lars Bjørn - 8 stars


(Avenue Of Allies - 2011)

The albums title is Changes, and that might refer to the fact that Alyson Avenue has done some serious changes in the line-up, and the most important one is to find a replacement for vocalist Anette Olzon who left the band in 2007 to join Nightwish. But two years later they found the talented Arabella Vitanc to do the lead vocals and that seems to be a real qualified solution. On this release, their third, since the beginning in 1989 they go for very competent and rock oriented sound that has its base in listenable soft songs with a heavy input to them. It's very much clear that Alyson Avenue needs to find themselves again musically and to show their good friendship with Anette Olzon, they have invited Olzon to sing background vocals with them and that works also brilliantly.

The music is extremely inspired by the Canadian band Heart, and when you have Olzon and Vitanc to do duets, it's like a dedication to Ann and Nancy Wilson from Heart, their music could be taken directly from their ideas, but it is keyboard player Niclas Olsson who is behind most of the songs on this album. Liar is a soft and melodic song that keeps a very strong impression. Will I Make Love is also the same style of soft metal like sound and here Arabella Vitanc has a duet with experienced vocalist Michael Bormann. Amazing Days is also filled with the same genuine quality from Alyson Avenue in their soft metal style with the enormous touch from Heart.

Into The Fire is their most powerful metal song with a splendid rhythm and super melodic in appearance. Also the song I'll Cry For You is a great example of their sublime skillfulness in hard rock that just appeals to all kind of metal and rock fans.

This album, Changes, marks a very warm welcome back to Alyson Avenue from their troubled times.

8 stars

Lars Bjørn


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