Lars Eric Mattsson's album Aurora Borealis is Lion Music 300th release and to celebrate this anniversary they release a special album. Mr. Mattsson composed an album which melts together metal with orchestral sounds. The guitar dominates the sound, but it's like you listened to a guitar wiz playing Vivaldi, Bach, Telemann & co. Sure, this isn't something completely new, e.g. Uli John Roth did it. But Mr. Mattsson manages to give the songs a light feeling.
Aurora Borealis starts with Rising and like an orchestral piece, but when guitar & co. set in becomes a vivid journey. The opener makes me think of classic composer Vivaldi... The tune has a positive vibe. Next in line is Bounce which seems to revive the days of Johann Sebastian Bach incl. spinet, flute and string arrangements. At the middle part of the tune the guitar takes over the lead, but connects the musical past with nowadays guitar play.
With Cold Water Spirit the mood changes, the track has a dark, dramatic feel to it. To support this feeling cello and - I think - oboe join in. Forward Thinking is offering a haunting violin melody which is accompanied by Mattsson's guitar.
Revolutionary Star is adding new sound to the mix... some prog / fusion elements, but some parts have a Baroque feel. Interesting. With The Heart a very emotional, balladesque tune follows. Compared with Revolutionary Star it's almost minimalistic, even if it sounds rich. I know this sounds like a contradiction, but I can't find better words to explain this. Definitely one of the highlights and among my personal favorites. A bit of Telemann - and perhaps Händel - I seem to hear in Eternal Cycles, but I might be wrong, coz I'm absolutely no expert in this field. Planetary Strength is rock meets classic. The opening passage reminds me a bit of Mozart's The Magic Flute... A roller coaster ride, but a very enjoyable one. Parisienne Etude is just an interlude. Midnight Sun is another metal meets classic, but in a different way.
I can recommend this album to metal fans who like neo-classical metal, but also to metal fans who aren't fans of instrumental albums. Give it a try!