Norlander, Erik - Into The Sunset

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Think Tank Media
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 66:31:00

Erik Norlander may not quite be a household name worldwide, but his presence in the progressive rock scene has by now become undeniable. The talented keyboardist has not only released two solo albums, but his work with Rocket Scientists and Lana Lane, as well as his contributions to Ayreon's records, has certainly proved that Norlander is a busy and talented man. Moreover, it's not every day that legendary vocalist/bassist Glenn Hughes, of Trapeze, Deep Purple, and Black Sabbath fame, guests vocals on a record. Put quite simply, our subject this time around certainly has the goods in stock.

Unfortunately, however, they remained largely in stock on the keyboardist's second solo album. An album that strongly favors a progressive metal approach instead of the more symphonic nature of its predecessor, Into The Sunset features a very reputable cast of musicians, including bassist Tony Franklin, guitarist Arjen Anthony Lucassen, the aforementioned Hughes, and Lana Lane, and it certainly allows Norlander to demonstrate his own playing strengths while avoiding the all-too-common trap of forgetting the fact that albums are made of songs and not of over-extended solos. Beautiful. A lot of musicians forget that.

In the process of writing songs, however, something must have gone awry. Before the usual suspicion present in progressive metal arises though, let's make it crystal clear: no, this is not a rip-off of Dream Theater. If anything, the album is reminiscent of Ayreon's heavier material, with a rich production, precise interplay going on between guitars and keyboards, and a highly polished metallic view. And although all that is certainly well and good, it also fails to light any sparks during most of the album's duration, coming across as a bit too safe and lacking spirit. Sure, the ballsy screams of Hughes on the fiery "Rome Is Burning" and the catchiness of "Into The Sunset" do manage to hit a cerebral nerve in the listener's nervous system so that they remain freshly crisped into one's memory, but somehow the novelty wears off rather quickly and, despite the obvious effort in the music of Norlander, leaves the listener only semiconscious of the fact that the record is still playing. After that, only the album's instrumentals and the lengthy bonus track "Alchemy And Astronomy," which forsakes the progressive metal nature of the album and drifts into a more gentle and pleasant evolution of keyboards and saxophone touches, jump out of the general monotony and grab the listener once again. And while the quality of this release certainly makes it a very respectable effort, Into The Sunset won't be setting the world on fire anytime soon.

Similiar artists: Ayreon

Released in Japan by Avalon (MICP 10183) and in Europe by Transmission (TM-022) and in Brazil by Hellion (HEL-742); each contain different bonus tracks (the EU/BR version is the same)

Sunset Prelude (3:17) / Into The Sunset (5:34) / Rome Is Burning (6:05) / Fanfare For The Dragon Isle (0:50) / Fly (7:53) / Dreamcurrents (4:38) / Lines In The Sand (5:11) / On The Wings Of Ghosts (10:29) / Hymn (1:18) / Into The Sunset Reprise (1:32) / Sunset Postlude (2:25) Bonus Track For Japan Only: Alchemy And Astronomy (17:10) ; Bonus Track For Europe/Brazil: Neurosaur

Erik Norlander - keyboards, guitar, bass, orchestral percussion
Arjen Anthony Lucassen - guitars
Tony Franklin - bass
Greg Ellis - drums
Cameron Stone - cellos
Glenn Hughes - vocals
Lana Lane - vocals
Edward Reekers - vocals
Robert Soeterboek - vocals


Rocket Scientists - Earthbound (1993) (OOP)
Rocket Scientists - Brutal Architecture (1995)
Threshold (1997)
Rocket Scientists - Earth Below And Sky Above (1998)
Rocket Scientists - Oblivion Days (1999)
Into The Sunset (2000)
Music Machine (2003)
Threshold - Special Edition (2004)
Stars Rain Down (2004)
Seas Of Orion (2004)
Rocket Scientists - Revolution Road (2006)
Hommage Symphonique (2006/2007)
Rocket Scientists - Looking Backward (2007)
The Galactic Collective (2010)

Live At St. Petersburg (DVD) (2006)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: November 17th 2002
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website:
Hits: 639
Language: english


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