Condition Red - Condition Red

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Lion Music
Catalog Number: LMC 2003 2
Format: CD
Total Time: 59:20:00

Jazzy, bass heavy and saxy is "Judgement Day," track two on Condition Red's debut. Sure there's metal, but its jazz metal. Could they actually have created a new genre? Bass reverberates and buzzes at times ? oh, and there's this gothic chorus thing. Keys, bass, and male voices singing. And it's guitar rock. It's spoiled a bit when full vocals come in, though. Torgny Stjärnfelt is not a band vocalist, but the initial groove of this is suddenly given the backseat. Ella Grussner's voice is?well, I think the most apt description is Tracy Hitchings. Overall, if the bass on this track were any louder, I think the walls here would dance.

Condition Red's sound is fairly typical metal with some different seasonings, but its their jazz metal instrumentals that really interest me. Speedy keyboard (Alexander King, Lars Eric Mattsson and Derek Sherinian) and guitar runs (Mattsson and Alex Masi), churning bass (Mattsson again), some pseudo-classical bits with violin (Grussner) -- as good as Grussner is as a vocalist, it's her violin playing that is the real treat. Rounding out the lineup Esa Pietilä on that sexy sounding sax, Eddie Sledgehammer on drums, and Orjan Sjöström on backing vocals.

"Lighthouse" is the highlight track along with "Life Is Now." In fact, all the elements come together on "Life Is Now," which features keys by Sherinian. It's only Grussner on vocals and this track features her finest performance of the album. The blues-based "Learning To Live" is choppy and chunky, sounding like some heavy metal mix of Deep Purple and Uriah Heep.

Production-wise this album is loose but distinct; each instrument is clear and occupies it's own space, but it feels very tight and close in. Overall I have to say the album is nice, and but for a few bright spots rather ho-hum typical metal. However, the opening track, and the cut featured on the Lion Music sampler, "Calls Out My Name," still runs through my head nearly three days after I last listened to this disc. Perhaps because I've heard it so many times, or perhaps because it is, after all, the only track with sticking power.

Calls Out My Name (10:28) / Judgement Day (10:31) / Life Is Now (8:51) / Bach On The Streets Again (5:15) / Fly Me High (4:58) / Lighthouse (8:26) / Learning To Live (4:30) / Final Words (7:41)

Torgny Stjärnfelt - vocals
Ella Grussner - vocals, violin
Lars Eric Mattsson - guitar, bass, keyboards
Alex Masi - guitar
Alexander King - keyboards
Esa Pietilä - sax
Eddie Sledgehammer - drums
Derek Sherinian - keyboards (3, 8)
Orjan Sjöström - backing vocals

Condition Red (2000)
II (2003)

Genre: Progressive/Power Metal

Origin SE

Added: July 26th 2001
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 827
Language: english


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