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Sandalinas - 2008 Fly To The Sun

ARTIST: Sandalinas
ALBUM: Fly To The Sun
LABEL: Metal Heaven
YEAR: 2008


LINEUP: Rick Altzi - vocals * Jordi Sandalinas - guitars * Mat Saint - bass * Alvaro Svanero - drums

Guests: Derek Sherinian - keyboards * Chris Caffery - guitars * Andy La Rocque - guitars

TRACK LISTING: 01 Fly To The Sun * 02 Never Seen Before * 03 Bad Dreams * 04 Back From The Light * 05 No Matter What * 06 As The Rain Falls * 07 Double Cross * 08 Ring Of Fire * 09 The Wrong Side Of Me * 10 Shadows In The Rain * 11 The Healer Talks * 12 Seasons In The Sand


Spanish guitarist Jordi Sandalinas first crossed our path in 2005 with his debut album 'Living On The Edge'. The fresh sounding euro metal being peddled back then took a few critics by surprise, and many predicted great things from him in future. Well, Jordi disappeared off the map for three years, returning in early 2008 with his second CD 'Fly To The Sun'. Jordi comes at us with a different line-up from his debut. It's all very competent, but not very memorable when you consider who they have to compete with among the rest of the Euro metal cavalcade. One of the disappointments for me is the departure of Apollo Papathanasio, who is replaced here by Rick Altzi (At Vance) - who unfortunately has to live in Apollo's shadow. Rick is a good singer, sort of like a metallized Glenn Hughes, and works hard to keep his presence up-front, but for me something is missing.

The Songs
Andy La Rocque (Kings Diamond) returns as producer, but I don't think it's primarily a production issue. Maybe the songs aren't as strong as those on the debut. OK, I'll say it - the songs don't cut it. There is nothing on here that is gonna make me come back for repeat play. Sandalinas - to stand out, really has to have a point of difference. Whether it's his guitar tone or the way he writes and arranges his material. I'm hearing none of that on 'Fly To The Sun'. I hear those guitar lines and it could be any decent guitarist who knows how to set the volume on his amp and effects. Don't be fooled into thinking this is a write-off, because it isn't. But what I will say is that this album will be pushed aside by other albums during 2008 for two reasons: one, the timing of its release (Jan 2008), and secondly, the fact that stronger and more appealing albums will more than likely supercede this one over the coming months.

In Summary
It might be difficult by the time Jordi gets around to album three to fully manifest his true and unique identity. He really needs to lock onto personnel that will stick with him so that the Sandalinas brand can be forged. Sure, guest appearances by the likes of Derek Sherinian and Chris Caffery are great, but ultimately unfulfilling. All the top metal bands usually have an established identity or something unique that sets them apart. We're yet to see that with Sandalinas. With 'Living On The Edge' we were off to a good start, but on 'Fly To The Sun', it seems the boys went for a trip to the dark side of the moon instead.

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