Elements Of Frictions


(CD-compilation by Lions Pride Music)

MARK: 90/100


Lions Pride Music is a newly-founded Danish AOR/Melodic Hard Rock label and "Fragile" is the first release from an all-star band, Elements Of Frictions, whose line-up never remains the same along the 14 tracks of the CD. Don't confuse it with the almost-homonymous band Elements Of Friction feat. MSG's Robin MacAuley (devoid of the final -s), which released an album via MTM in 2001, and take it as a sampler ahead of new releases, as I don't think these tracks will remain unreleased.

Going to the details, "When You Grow up" opens the 54 minutes of masterfully recorded and performed music and it's already worth the price; mid-tempo AOR/HR alà latest Europe with amazing energetic vocals and a magic refrain reminding of Dakota. Marcello/Vestry deliver superb licks and a stellar axe solo.
The rhythm slows down a little with Rainbow/Deep Purple-meet Baltimore-and-Europe "Little One" by Area 51, but it also gets hotter and heavier thanks to a crushing main riff and a Stage Dolls' refrain and 2 unforgettable guitar solos; Matti Alfonzetti is behind this song, as well as the mixing of all the tracks and the writing of another 5 here included.
The keys play a more important role in "Love Don't Live Here Anymore", by Emma Varg, the only female artist in this compilation; when the keys have more space, the guitars often get in the background and in this case I feel it's a bit too much; luckily her powerful vocals on the trail of Chrissy Steele, Femme Fatale, Robin Beck, etc. save the song along with the (finally) present guitar during the solo.
Slow Pomp Rock with an electric refrain, double-layered vocals, key bass work all the time are the main ingredients of "Don't Leave Me Lonely"; the guitar solo is strong and you can understand one more time Matti Alfonzetti knows his job pretty well.
"Make You Mine" by Larrie Baud is a bit harder, very guitar-based and not only because of the solo, yet it remains a love song, while the heavily-drummed and crystal-clear "Don't Walk away" is a song by Oliver Fehr, who some of you may remember in Transit; this composition moves without hurry with Hammond keys, black female vocals in the background and a tireless guitarist busy with fiery guitar licks, solos and riffs the way Little Caesar were accustomed to.
Things change radically with "Without Your Love" by Snakes In Paradise, modern HR with dirty low-fi vocals and lively drums; a skillful brief axe solo completes the picture, while the beginning strophe concludes the track a few seconds later.
Aficionados of HR and AOR equally balances between Bon Jovi and Alias, waste no time and skip to track n. 8 right away: "Only My Heart" by Mats Leven contains an irresistibel guitar solo destined to make your heads spin and lead you to the refrain repeated till the final climax.
Punk and Hard Rock fight to get the spotlights in "To the Limit" by Pete Loran, proud to show an unbelievable Trixter-like riff and a top-notch mid-tempoed axe solo; the refrain decidedly makes it one of the compilation highlights!
Fast and loud Modern HR veined with Punk vocals between Weezer and Blink 182 is what's offered by Paul Laine in "Another Me", whereas Tommy LaVerdi's "Somebody up There" is in debt to Black Label Society for the heavy parts and Yes for the soft ones; nedless to say this killer song is made even more precious by an ardent guitar solo. A real ear-demolisher!
Stephan Kammerer presents "All About You", a tad influenced by Def Leppard in the beginning and later by Marillion with Fish on vocals and Radiohead, too.
Our eardrums can rest a bit longer thanks to Rich Cox's "Let Me down Easy", Pop-Rock halfway between Robin George and Hjörtur Blöndal; don't take it as a negative note, since this is another well-conceived mind-sticking song!
We get to the last 54 minutes of the sampler with "Pieces of the Action" by Mark Evans, rough and as raw as a sore; straight and easy structures along with a fast and masterful guitar solo in the extreme make it involving like hell; fit for live occasions, this song might satisfy lovers of Kix and the likes.

The goal of this project is to bring back the voices that made this genre great in history, such as Larry Baud (Red Dawn), Rich Cox (Sic Vikki), Mark Evans (Heavens Edge), Stefan Berggren (Snakes In Paradise), Stephan Kammerer (Frontline), Tommy La Verdi (21 Guns/LRS), Paul Laine (Danger Danger, solo), Mats Levén (Treat, Swedish Erotica, Yngwie Malmsteen), Pete Loran (Trixter), Oliver Fehr (Transit), Matti Alfonzetti (Jagged Edge, Bam Bam Boys, Skintrade), together with Swedish newcomer Emma Varg. Although the styles are quite different, we can say with no doubts that the mission is accomplished!

MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - January 20th, 2015

Line-up on this record:
Marcello (Danger Danger, Shotgun Messiah, Ironhorse, Obsession, Twenty 4 Seven, Marcello-Vestry)/Vestry (Last Temptation, Devias, Marcello-Vestry, Frank Vestry, Jack Starr's Burning Star) – all instruments (track 1)
Matti Alfonzetti (Jagged Edge, Bam Bam Boys, Skintrade) – vocals (tracks 2, 4)
Sven Cimski (Bad Habit, Area 51) – guitars (track 2)
Micke Hoglund (Great King Rat, Thunder) – bass (track 2)
Jamie Borger (Treat, Talisman) – drums (track2)
Pasi Oxman (– keyboards (track 2)
Emma Varg – vocals (track 3)
Larry Baud (Heavens Edge, USA, Never Say Surrender, Red Dawn, Network) – vocals (track 5)
Oliver Fehr (Transit) – vocals (track 6)
Snakes In Paradise – all instruments (track 7)
Mats Leven (Candlemass, Apocalyptica, Yngwie Malmsteen, Therion, Krux, Swedish Erotica, Treat, Abstrakt Algebra, Dogface, Pontus Norgren, Fatal Force, AB/CD, At Vance, Sabbtail, Southpaw, Amaseffer) – vocals (track 8)
Pete Loran (Trixter) – vocals (track 9)
Steve Brown (Trixter) – guitar (track 9)
Paul Laine (Danger Danger, Shugaazer, Darkhorse) – vocals (track 10)
Tommy La Verdi (21 Guns) – vocals (track 11)
Stephan Kammerer (Frontline) – vocals (track 12)
Rich Cox (Sic Vikki) – vocals (track 13)
Mark Evans (Heavens Edge) – vocals (track 14)
Reggie Wu (Heavens Edge) – guitar (track 14)


Official sites:


-Fragile (Compilation-CD - 2014)