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Free Spirit - 'All The Shades Of Darkened Light'

posted 3 Jun 2014, 13:05 by Paul Woodward


Review by Woody

Finland's Free Spirit roar back into our lives with a stunning new album in ‘All The Shades Of Darkened Light’. It picks up nicely from where their debut album ‘Pale Sister of Light’ left off and sees the band evolve its sound into an even slicker commercial melodic rock machine. Those unique elements that made the debut so impressive are still present but there is an even stronger radio friendly tone present here and a more obvious melodic rock drive to the album as a whole, whilst never losing their own identity.

These guys are masters of crafting a melody that will imbed itself in your head. It’s clear these songs have been worked on lovingly over time and been tinkered with as every track has its own strengths and impacts. Not a single song feels like filler and the album flows beautifully from start to finish and has you immediately pouncing on the repeat button! It’s feel good rock with huge choruses, huge vocal harmonies, slick polished hooks, evocative vocals and there is a delightful melodic sheen over everything that should make every self respecting AOR fan very damp, in a very good way!

For those of you who like me enjoy multi layered polished musical landscapes this album has what you’re craving. Every element and instrument is interlocked and placed in perfect harmony where everything compliments everything else creating a delicious warm enveloping musical work of art. That’s how these songs feel to me, they feel like works of art! It has the instant impact of throw away commercial AOR, but strength and depth to make a lasting impression and while your grabbing your air guitar and singing along now I assure you will do so for many years to come!

Front man Sami Alho not only has a wonderfully unique and melodious vocal he is also a strong lyricist who manages to create heartfelt and relatable lyrics whilst avoiding the cheese that bogs down our beloved genre a lot of the time, but when he does he delivers it in such a honest and sincere way it doesn’t have the cringe factor other artists may create and has more emotional impact.

This truly is one of the best melodic rock records I’ve ever had the pleasure to hear and I know it’s never going to be far from my CD player for many years to come. I’m sure the hook filled pleasure of tracks like the emotion driven ‘Ever Come True’ and the infectious ‘The Dew Of The Rose’ will become fast favourites with all AOR fanatics.

Track Listing: Nights Of Paradise / Living Tattoo / Hysteria / Ever Come True / The Dew Of The Rose / Turn On The Night / Burning Love / Carry On / Fever / Silence / Storyline

Album Rating: 9/10

Woody’s Essential Track: The Dew Of The Rose