Music's 300th release; guitar virtuoso / composer Lars Eric
Mattsson returns with the ultimate neo-classical experience
in which metal and rock guitar, bass and drums meets
classical music for the harmoniously rich ‘Aurora Borealis’.
This new wholly instrumental 12 track release takes a fresh
approach to the blend of guitar and orchestra for a musical
experience as uplifting as seeing the wonder of the northern
lights, from which the album gets its title.
Whilst the combination of orchestra and guitar may have been
done before by amongst others one of Mattsson’s influences
Uli Jon Roth; ‘Aurora Borealis’ takes the range of sound and
expressions further that what has been heard before and
places as much emphasis on each tracks backing as with its
guitar work. The result is a highly captivating and
listenable experience. Lush in textures and timbres, ‘Aurora
Borealis’ comes across at times like a film score; sometimes
fast and exotic whilst at others sweet and luxurious. Many
moods are covered and all of which see Mattsson deliver
impassioned guitar work in his own inimitable style.
Mattsson made a big point during the albums compositional
stage to deliver an album that could theoretically be
performed live within the right setting. To achieve this
there is only ever one guitar heard at a time, sometimes
playing the lead part but not always. Lars Eric Mattsson
comments, “I tried to compose the music with enough
variations and the right flow from start to end and keep
things listenable by using the right arrangements”.
To ensure his guitar would work as cleanly as possible with
the orchestral parts Mattsson kept his signal chain as pure
as possible with only the occasional wah pedal between
guitar and amp (with some delay and reverb added in post
production). The result is a clean sounding release with
strong dynamics and a wide tonal palette.
Despite its relative complexity ‘Aurora Borealis’ may well
be easier on the listener than some of his previous vocal
progressive metal releases such as 2010’s critically
acclaimed ‘Mattsson – Tango,’ although Lars concedes with a
smile, “It might sound less complex though I am not sure it
actually is!”. As a final comment when asked to sum up the
new release Mattsson responds, “Classical music and rock has
been mixed before with various results but never this way, I
tried to create something very unique and I don’t think it’s
fair to label this as just another instrumental guitar
‘Aurora Borealis’ sees Lars Eric Mattsson almost halfway
through his third decade in the music business with a new
release that is testament to his vision and appetite to ever
expand his musical horizons and does so in fine style.
‘Aurora Borealis’ sees release on Lion Music on 15th April
Cold Water Spirit (5:56)
Forward Thinking (6:17)
Revolutionary Star (4:40)
The Heart (3:55)
Eternal Cycles (4:19)
Clear Skies (4:06)
Planetary Strength (3:17)
Parisienne Etude (0:55)
Midnight Sun (7:43)
Lars Eric Mattsson – Guitars, bass, keyboards.
Eddie Sledgehammer – Drums and percussion.
The Astral Strings and Woodwinds