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Fullforce - One 4/5

Reviewed: 9-1-11


1. Mythomaniac
2. None of your concern
3. Heart and soul
4. Oblivion
5. Open your eyes
6. Rain
7. Suffering in silence
8. Walls of secrets
9. Father spirit
10. I bleed
11. Into the cradle

Fullforce is an all-star band from Sweden, and 'One' is their full-length debut. The members, all of which are well-known in the metal world, are guitarist Stefan Elmgren (who has been in Hammerfall, Cans, Full Strike and Lost Horizon), Carl-Johan Grimmark (who has been in many bands, but Planet Alliance, Rob Rock, Beautiful Sin and Fires of Babylon are most familiar to me), bassist Tommy Larsson (who has been in Heed and Dream Evil), drummer Anders Johansson (who is also in Planet Alliance and Hammerfall, but has past experience with numerous other bands), and finally vocalist Mike Andersson (who is also in Planet Alliance, Cloudscape and Silent Memorial). I've actually been a fan of Mike's vocals for years, so it was pleasing to learn he was fronting this band. One thing that's interesting is that 3 of the members are also in Planet Alliance, and I think their 's/t' debut is great, so hopefully we'll see a 2nd CD from them soon.

The style of this debut is melodic metal with moments of both progressive metal and power metal. Therefore, it's extremely similar to Cloudscape, especially since Mike is also the vocalist of that band. Overall, what you can expect is mostly mid-paced (though sometimes slow and sometimes fast) but upbeat/uplifting songs done in an emotional and exciting manner. It's plenty heavy, and the keys are mostly in the background - kinda like what's heard with Cloudscape. Really, this could be mistaken for another Cloudscape CD if a die-hard Cloudscape fan was to listen to it without knowing it was Fullforce. Planet Alliance is surely another obvious comparison, but some of their 's/t' debut is lighter than what's heard on 'One'.

Thankfully, the band didn't just go through the motions with this debut, and they've certainly put a lot of thought into the songwriting (especially regarding the tempo), performances and production. Mike sounds as great as ever, and should be considered one of the best vocalists in the genre, for sure. When all is said and done, every song on this debut hovers around the level of excellence, though I can't pick out a few as favorites - I simply like them all and enjoy listening to the CD as one complete experience. Considering I'm a big fan of Cloudscape, it should be no surprise that I'm totally digging it, and if you're a fan of Cloudscape and/or Planet Alliance, you should dig it too.




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