Out now on Lion Music
Third strike from Book of Reflections, the on/off project of the ever busy guitarist Lars Eric Mattsson.
Relentless Fighter sees Mattsson joined by vocalists Carsten Schulz (Evidence One) and Markku Kuikka (Status Minor), both strong voices and a nice foil to Mattsson’s technical guitar style.
With a more straightforward sound than heard before under the BOR banner, the album is more on a par with the self titled debut offering in some much as its more about neo-classical tinted metal and less prog and weird stuff as heard on the second album.
Delving deeper there’s some strong tracks here like ‘Angel Shed A Tear’, ‘Bleeding Dry’, ‘Rise Up’ all kicked off in fine form by opener ‘Until The Day’ which blazes along in a glorious fashion not too dissimilar to Europe’s ‘Scream Of Anger’.
Relentless Fighter is certainly the most accessible of recent new releases by Mattsson, yet also perhaps his most pissed off for there is an angry slant to many of the rhythm’s and solos where you can almost see the steam coming off the fretboard, nice indeed.
Downsides? The mix isn’t the strongest with vocals sometimes getting a little lost in the mix and the drums do sound overly digital too (toms and crash/splash cymbals), but fortunately it doesn’t detract too much from the music on offer. That said it would be great to hear Mattsson team up someone like Mike Terrana and get a more savvy mix.
Overall though it’s a strong third effort from Book Of Reflections if not entirely stylistically inline with what’s been before. That said this ranks as my favourite of the three so far. Great artwork by Carl-Andre Beckston once again as well.