Spektrum - Spektrum

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Progress Records
Catalog Number: PRCD 010
Format: CD
Total Time: 41:35:00

Can the brand new Swedish band Spektrum be seen as the Scandinavian equivalent of Transatlantic? Where musical output is concerned, not really, but if you mean picking musicians from various band and putting them together in one room resulting in this debut, then yes, the comparaison might come close. Made up of members from bands as diverse as Galleon, Cross and Grand Stand they all have one thing in common and that's the fact that they are all linked to Progress Records as launched and governed by Hansi Cross.

Long before the release of this album was imminent, the media was already informed that Spektrum would be the thing to look out for, mainly because of the inclusion of female singer Lizette von Panajott. Having co-written two songs for the succesful band Rednex, whose album went on to sell 9 million copies, Lizette has now bought her own studio, which means she's aware of what happens from a technical point of view, a thing that is rather rare where women in music are concerned. Superlatives were mailed to every corner of the world as if the album was a true must have even if it meant spending our last earned penny. From a musical point of view it is indeed a truly magnificent album but as a whole surely not everyone will be as convinced as the press sheet wants us to believe. The music itself often gets very close to vintage Genesis not in the least because of the approach on keyboards by Olov Anderson, who gets damn close to the style of Tony Banks, as he proves during "Now." However von Panajott injects an immature high pitched voice that often comes across as being irritating and disturbing as if you were to ask the lead singer of The Cardigans to record an album with Yes! However let us surely not forget the music, which luckily is of a very high standard and really shines throughout tracks such as "Perpetuum Mobile" and "The Quest." Give Deus Ex Machina singer Alberto Piras the chance to sing the track "Ivory Tower" and make sure you introduce a real flute solo and you get musical fireworks. With Lizette at the helm the fireworks become but an ordinary cracker.

Comes the final track, "Chemical Release," where the band has finally tackled the vocals in such a way that they do not interfere with the musical content. By treating those vocals in a distorted way, the result becomes more fierce, more powerful. Towards the end, the arrangement even changes, as if you're listening to an outtake from the Wind And Wuthering sessions. So don't get me wrong here as this album certainly is a captivating, bright, symphonic rock album, yet I'm convinced some fans of the genre will have difficulties with the voice. Had this been an all instrumental album, or had Magenta singer Christina been behind the microphone, then surely this would be a five star release. As with a voice like Peter Hammill, which you will either love or hate, the same will undoubtedly be said of Lizette's vocal performance. Yet regardless of the discussions where the vocal department is concerned, it has to be said that from a musical perspective Spektrum has certainly delivered one of the better albums that has come out of Sweden for a long time, so giving this album a spin is the least you can do!

Spektrum (0:22) / Land Of Longing (5:39) / Now (9:24) / Perpetuum Mobile (5:55) / The Quest (5:16) / Ivory Tower (5:57) / A Chemical Release (8:52)

Lizette von Panajott - vocals, additional keyboards
Olov Andersson - keyboards, acoustic guitar, mini bells, vocals
G?ran Fors - bass, vocals, Taurus pedals
G?ran Johnsson - drums, vocals, electric guitar, additional keyboards
Hansi Cross - electric and acoustic guitars, vocals, additional keyboards

Spektrum (2003)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin SE

Added: May 4th 2003
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website: www.progressrec.com/spektrum/
Hits: 659
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]