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Katrina Johansson
Love, Surrender, Forgiveness

Company: Independent
Release: 2007
Reviewer: Nailer
Rating: 4

It's a bit of a shame that virtual guitar playing in video games is getting more views on websites than actual guitar players, but it leads to more publicity to metal as a whole. Skilled practitioners deserve as many accolades as the kids who can play a full song on expert level. Praise for the real players comes on many different levels--chords work, riff creation, song styling, innovation, etc. One class of extreme player is the 'shedder'--those who can play ridiculously fast, blurring their fingers with arpeggio sweeps and scale runs that come from years of studious practice--well-known names include Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Rusty Cooley, The Great Kat and Michael Angelo Batio. A common criticism of their axework, is that they don't play with any emotion; they're nothing more than robotic speedsters with the dial set to ultrafast and their playing devoid of any soul. So, what sets Katrina apart from the thousands of other guitarists out there? I think her strength is in her melodic lead work. A melody is, on a simple level, musical sounds in agreeable succession or arrangement. Instead of just stringing together a series of hyper-notes, her leads suggest various emotions. I can't say whether the titles influenced my feelings or vice versa, but they do match up well. "Scar Tissue" is bittersweet until she breaks out a pure speed break at the end. "Bellydance" brings in some Eastern theming. "Love Surrender Forgiveness" is very reflective. "K-9 Lullaby" is the only one that doesn't suggest it's own sound. The ability to make you feel beyond the cerebral level puts her 4-track disc into a special class and if she moves forward into full band work it should turn out very appealing.

Bottom Line: Katrina's work is intimidating and inspiring and well worth listening to.

Track listing:
1. Scar Tissue
2. Bellydance
3. Love Surrender Forgiveness
4. K-9 Lullaby

Katrina Johansson - Guitars
Wolfe - Drums
Mike Hoffmann - Bass, Slide Guitar, 12 String Guitar
Michael Angelo Batio - Bass (K-9 Lullaby)
Brad Rohrssen - Drums (K-9 Lullaby)

For more about Katrina visist

About this Writer:
Frank Hill // Frank Hill has been at this site since its slimy, crying birth in '03. He was born on National Metal Day--11/11 and will turn his hearing aids up to 11 when he's 111. He secretly listens to a lot of old Country and Doo-Wop tunes and wants to start a cyberband with lead vocals by Robot Plant. He is still trying to figure out what Judas Priest meant by "paratamize you". If you read this, then he salutes you.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.

All reviews for Katrina Johansson:
Love, Surrender, ForgivenessKatrina Johansson
Frank Hill1/23/2008

All interviews for Katrina Johansson:

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