Norwegian multi-instrumentalist Thomas Carlsen is a new name to me, and, probably, to you. But all that looks to change with the release of the man’s bright and shiny new EP, Redemption.
The music on Redemption is right up the average Sentinel Daily reader’s alley, being a classy mix of most of the names that made the genre such a force to be reckoned with in the eighties. As if to underline his allegiance to the glory days of metal, Carlsen has even thrown in a cover of Iron Maiden deep cut Still Life from from 1983’s Piece of Mind opus…
The record opens with shortish instrumental Cloudbursting, a track steeped in the tropes of trad metal right down to the way the track ends – which can only fairly be described as ‘Maidenesque’ – but the first ‘proper’ track on the EP, Redemption, adds a little more of a twenty first century power metal edge thanks to guest vocals from fellow Norwegian Marius Danielsen.
Danielsen, bets known for his work in Legend of Valley Doom, adds vocals throughout, keeps the material from descending too far purely into nostalgia, though he does add some very eighties-styled wailing to the excellent Fallen From Grace, a fast-paced headbanger that benefits from good attention to the arrangement of the song and Carlsen’s undoubted eye for detail.
The cover version works well; Carlsen sensibly doesn’t really seek to deconstruct the track, opting for respectful reproduction. His take on Steve Harris‘ ‘clanking’ bass tone is spot on!
Final track Hard Line rounds things out in speedy and rousing fashion, and is probably your reviewer’s favourite track on the record, adding the rawness of NWoBHM names like Jaguar and The Tigers of Pan Tang to the mix with gratifying results. Carlsen saves his best solo work for last on this track!
I’ve no idea whether Transmission will be an ongoing project for Thomas Carlssen, but there is certainly enough evidence here to suggest that it might well be worth persevering with if tracks like Hard Line are anything to go by! Great stuff!
Redemption is out now.