Company: Self Released Release: 2009 Genre: Hard Rock Reviewer: Maya Ahuja
A solo artist to watch
Meet Hans Dalen: Hailing from the land of Vikings this Norwegian is a guitarist with a difference, so much so I just had to review his EP here at Maximum Metal!
Dalen a multi-instrumentalist started playing piano at the age of around seven and later drums and hasn't stopped since, however, the guitar is where his main talent is clearly at. With roots in the finest of Norwegian death metal, he played in the band GROMS and recorded the album that mustered a fair amount of underground critical acclaim in the mid 90's--'Ascension'. So what does Dalen sound like now?
The first track of his solo project EP entitled 'Back to Life' takes a melodic and rhythmical journey leading the listener from one territory to another, you have no option but to focus on the track with every part of yourself (this is not elevator music!). Entering with a grooving slow but steady riff we are hollered at by lead guitars high above the vibe that wind to and fro with stunning heights of sincerity and scale passages that would make Mssr. Vai proud.
Segueing almost quite bizarrely into the realms of Terra Malmsteen we are suddenly back in the 1700's eating with Bach; the sweep picking perfectly executed over harmonized synths and the steady 4/4 rhythm leads us to somewhere again of magnificent difference and subtly back again without so much as noticing the transition of the original groove.
'Tribute' introduces itself as a solid rock track with harmonized guitars that add a glossy and produced texture to the veneer of this simple but solid melody, however before too long, Dalen grows inpatient of this and leads the listener off to a doom ridden groove and through the door to a major and uplifting canter to the home run. The element that makes Dalen a success is that this is soloing without the pretensions that befall so many guitarists of this category and leaving the listener to either turn off or stop taking notes on how he does it.
The closer 'Meryam' is an anthemic ode to all things of pure fret-worshipery and if it wasn't for the well planned, almost in-harmonious note that Dalen wrote in, this would be the usual over-indulgent solo-ridden melody. Thankfully this boy has far more to offer under the surface and just as you lay back on your laurels he switches the tempo and enters in with a screaming lead over crazed harmonies; nothing more is needed here than a simple and solid bass and drums ending elegantly with a very dignified harpsichord. Overall Hans Dalen is a solo artist to watch!
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