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On disc: Ark

- Burn The Sun - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars

Burn The Sun?

Burn The Sun
(InsideOut Music - 2001)

The new band of Norwegian guitarist Tore Østby and singer Jorn Lande is called Ark. With Burn The Sun they present their debut to the fans of progressive metal. As with Conception Østby combines melodies, progressive parts and power. Long-time colleague John Macaluso on drums the Norwegian dynamic duo start off with Heal The Waters. Heavy guitar riffs and complex drum beats carry the song and the bluesy voice of Jorn Lande. Working with tempi-changes is common in this genre and so they do. In the slower parts the keyboard is more audible. This track shows that complex sound constructions can be catchy as well. Here fans of Dream Theater or Spock's Beard - if they like it heavy - will be happy with as well as fans of Conception or progressive power metal. The more then 6 minutes long track is followed by Torn which has some interesting drum beat and the emotional vocals of Lande. Sometimes powerful, but often softer and sometimes almost whispering... At least pleading... Suffering... In the background you hear some voices - no words - which been used like instruments. I only know this from some jazz stuff... Heavier and perhaps even simpler is the title track Burn The Sun. A forcing guitar riff is opening and leading into an up-tempo tune. Staccato riffing. The voice of Jorn Lande upfront. And during the bridge a bit funky, then a catchy refrain. Also working with spoken word samples and again the jazzy vocal performance in the background. Very intersting.
A large variety of sounds and elements they combined in to some quite unique music. It's the combination of Tore Østby's guitars and Lande's vocals which make this one special. The variety of sounds is huge. From the light-sounding Spanish guitars influenced Just A Little - make me think of Friday Night In San Francisco - to the soundscapes of ambient rocker Waking Hour. Finally they present a balladesque tune called Missing You. Here the guitar is neo-classical influenced laying on the keyboard created sound floor. All crowned by the vocals. A symphonic power ballad.
Fans of Jorn Lande will check this one out anyway, beside that I think progressive metal fans should be interested in this one... Some fans of progressive power metal will like this too, but it may be too progressive.... Check it out!

9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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