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On disc: Condition Red

- Condition Red - Amir Djawadi - 5 stars

Condition Red

Condition Red
(Lion Music - 2000)

Nothing for the weak! Perhaps not from the heaviness, more from the complexity which welcomes the listener right from the start with the violin based intro.
The arising concern this could be a never-ending show of dexterity fades when the vocals join in. The interaction of the male and the female vocals of Ella Grussner - she's also playing violin - and Torgny Stjänfelt completing the sound. Lars Eric Mattson took over the production beside playing guitar, bass and keyboards. But that's not the end of the listing of first-class musicians! On Condition Red they brought together young and talented newcomers and known, well-established musicians. So you can find keyboard parts of youngster Alexander King next to part of none other then Derek Sherinian who is known for his work with Dream Theater, Planet X, Platypus, Alice Cooper and many more. Some guitar parts are recorded by Alex Masi while Esa Pietila add with his saxophone another classical element. The drums are done by Eddie Sledgehammer and backing vocals are sung by Thor Hammer.
With 8 songs the album meets the expectations of the progressive audience. And even musically the playful melody bows are well arranged and with the enchanting voice of Ella Grussner this album is convincing. Personally I think that some vocal parts sound a little bit too much like taken off a musical, but when you think about the high quality level of musicals this can't be bad.
The music of Condition Red is flowing and even a more then 10 minute long song is over too soon without any boredom. They created music with a certain heaviness, melody and progressiveness, so that all elements are well balanced. A walk on razors edge which they successfully did.
A recommendation for die-hard prog fans as well as for people who are open-minded.

5 stars

Amir Djawadi
(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)


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