Baltimoore: Original Sin (CD, 40:13) LMC 2006-2 Lion Music Stromsangsvagen 110 22 410 Godby Aland, FINLAND CYBERHOME: http://www.lionmusic.com Baltimoore’s website touts this Scandinavian band as “progressive-metal,” but after a few spins of their latest CD Original Sin I found out that nothing could be further from the truth. Quite frankly, these guys are about as progressive as Poison. A better description would be “straight ahead rock and roll with a singer that sounds like Rod Stewart” – not a negative description at all, but not progressive at all either. Sure, there’s some nice guitar chops and the drumming is pretty steady throughout the CD, but if you’re looking for long pieces (the longest song here is under 5 minutes) or trick time signature changes you won’t find them here. So, rather than focus on what Baltimoore is NOT, let’s focus on what they ARE – a decent rock and roll band. The primary instrument in the songs on Original Sin is definitely the raspy voice of Björn Lodin which sounds like a mix between the aforementioned Rod Stewart and the Black Crowes Chris Robinson. The vocals have a whiskey bar tinge to them as well, which add a certain smoothness to the proceedings. Thomas Larsson’s guitar work is pretty darn good - he really lets loose, along with drummer Eiron Johansson – on the Van Halen-esque opener “Conviction”. Baltimoore also throws in an imitation of a Ronnie James Dio-led Black Sabbath on the song “Omniscience” with its driving rhythm section and power chord dominated guitar licks. Pretty good stuff if you’re into that sort of thing. Baltimore trips up a bit when it tries to incorporate non-tradition instruments and styles into its music. Hans Röjas’ violin – while well played – sounds completely out of place on the track “Conviction,” and when the band takes a trip down to the Lizard Lounge on “Superman” the results are far less than exciting. However, when the boys stick close to blues-inspired, ripped-up blue jean rock and roll – such as the smooth and mellow track “Recognition” – they show that they can hold their own as a Black Crowes-style band. For those of you looking for the latest in progressive metal, I’m afraid that you couldn’t get much more off-base than Baltimoore – there simply isn’t anything progressive about their music. However, if you like plain ol’ rock and roll riffs with raspy vocals and lots of blues guitar playing, than Baltimoore’s Original Sin is a solid effort. More information on Baltimoore can be found at http://www.lionmusic.com/baltimoore. - Michael Askounes (firstname.lastname@example.org) PERSONNEL: Björn Lodin: Guitar, Vox, Bass (4, 9) Thomas Larsson: Lead Guitar Lars Pollack: Organ, Keyboards, Piano, Electric Piano Eiron Johansson: Drums Joakim Larsson: Bass (1,3,6,8) Weine Johansson: Bass (2,5,10) Kjell Dahl: Bass (7) Jair-Rhome Parker: Bass (9) Kurt Lindbom: Lead Guitar (5,7) Thomas Tornefjall: Drums (7) Hans Rojas: Violin (4) Villu Veski: Saxophone (7) TRACKLIST: 1. Conviction (3:10) 2. Indecision (3:47) 3. Emancipation (2:48) 4. Contradiction (4:57) 5. Recognition (4:00) 6. Retribution (4:49) 7. Superman (4:22) 8. Omniscience (3:37) 9. Jealousy (4:34) 10. Redemption (4:05)
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