Monday, December 03, 2012

Sapphire Eyes-Sapphire Eyes

Avenue Of Allies

Sapphire Eyes, which is a cool name for a band in my opinion, is a new project from  songwriter/keyboard player Niclas Ollson (Alyson Avenue) and vocalist Thomas Bursell. The two Swedish musicians played together in the melodic hard rock group Second Heat, but here the pair offer slick AOR.  Seven tracks on this self-titled release feature vocals from the pair while fellow Swedish musicians Mikael Erlandsson (Last Autumn's Dream, Salute) handles lead vocals on two songs and Mike Andersson (Cloudscape) sings on one tune. With additional female vocals handled by Anette Olzon and Arabella Vitanc (both of whom are associated in one way or another with Alyson Avenue) this 10-track album offers quite a bit in the way of enjoyable AOR. Given the skill level of the other musicians assembled it's no wonder this one sounds so good. There is some real talent to be found within this album such as guitarist Sven Larsson (Street Talk, Lionville), Rik Priem (Frozen Rain), guitarist/bassist Mikey K Nilsson (Nasty Idols), Mats Ståhl (Candlemass) and Francesco Jovino (U.D.O., Hardline). Without going overboard with fancy descriptions, which is really not needed in this case, let's just say that this is keyboard-heavy, occasionally rougher rock tilted, well executed AOR. Don't let the keyboard part scare you though. In this case the keyboards actually help accent some solid guitar rock that, while it would never be confused with being hard rock, is a fun listen. The music is well-written, offering excellent melodic rock and classy radio rock, produced and, in effect, just right for melodic rock/AOR fanatics.   

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