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On disc: Takara



Invitation To Forever - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars


www.takararocks.com







Invitation To Forever

Invitation To Forever
(ProgRock Records - 2008)


Takara was founded back in 1987 by guitarist Neal Grusky and since the early 90's they presented a couple of albums, but its been years since the last release. Now 7 years later they are back with Invitation To Forever - and with a new singer! With Jeff Scott Soto they had a well-known singer and he's still involved - doing backing vocals at this one -, but now Gustavo Monsanto is the new singer. Some might know the Brazilian from Adagio and a few probably remember him from Overdose...
Angels Of Lies kicks off symphonically, but becomes an up-beat hard rock tune. The warm voice of Gus Monsanto fits quite good to Takara's sound and they can hook you up with this one. But they add some progressive elements as well as neo-classical guitar parts to the 70's hard rock. At the same time they don't sound backdated, the songs sound alive. At Final Warning they are a bit heavier and even if there is a symphonic keyboard melody Neal Grusky's guitar riffs dominate. The lyrics for the heavy riff-based rocker Spotlight are written by Jeff Scott Soto, but still Monsanto is singing this catchy tune. The song is one of the highlights at Invitation To Forever. With harmony vocals they start into This Story Has To Be Told, a balladesque tune which is focused on Gus' voice. Due to the harmony vocals the song has the early 90's flair... Revives a bit the glam metal... One of my favorites is Looking For Salvation which hooked me up right away. The ingredients are the same, but somehow this one sticks out. An acoustic balladesque tune you get with This Photograph and again I think that in the early 90's this one would have get a lot attention... But a good song is a good song, no matter if it's the current trend or not. On the other hand there are songs like Nowhere To Run which aren't bad at all, but a bit repetitive and can't really hook you up. But even if there aren't just killers, there are no real fillers either.
If you don't know Takara, but like Axel Rudi Pell, then you should give it a try. Takara is presenting hard rock / melodic metal with symphonic and neo-classical passages - in a nutshell. Check them out, if you like hard rock and / or glam metal!


7 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

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