Jono - 'Requiem' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 28, 2014    
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Miss Queen? Then this Swedish five-piece might be what you're looking for.

Miss Queen? Then this Swedish five-piece might be what you're looking for. Originally starting as a solo project for singer Johan Norrby it has evolved into a full band and not just any old band. Guitarist Stefen Helleblad is also in Within Temptation and drummer Nicak Hellenberg played on their 'The Unforgiving' album too so there's some pedigree here.

It certainly doesn't share much in common with Within Temptation musically though (except perhaps a sense of drama). Instead, it's got a 70s feel, largely due to their main influences coming from that era in the form of Queen, Sparks and Supertramp. The Queen influence is the most obvious one. It's not an outright steal of classic Queen like Metal Majesty did on 'This Is Not A Drill'. It's more like Robby Valentine's homage to the band as Norrby's songs do sound like something Freddie might have come up with tinkling on the piano.

The piano led 'Letting Go' and 'Requiem' both sound at times like a variation on Queen's 'You Take My Breath Away' although there aren't Queen's signature harmony vocals which would have plumped up these tunes. Although 'Symphony' also has a similar approach there's a choir of voices on it which does help fill out the sound. 'Nothing' is a self-empowering anthem and decent rocker that scores points but 'Best Thing' is poppier, taking this into less appetising Mika territory.

Norrby's campy delivery verges on musical theatre at times, making it more like the Queen of the 'We Will Rock You' West End show rather than the infinitely better rock 'n' roll approach the band took. It's heavy on the ballads and a better balance with more rockers like the opener 'I Was The One' and 'Nothing' would have helped.

As a big Queen fan I expected to enjoy this more than I did, but it's one of those records some people out there will connect with more, and even love.

Duncan Jamieson

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