Elevener - 2011 Symmetry In Motion

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ARTIST: Elevener
ALBUM: Symmetry In Motion
LABEL: AOR Heaven
SERIAL: AORH726A
YEAR: 2011
SPONSOR: Johan Bergquist

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image

LINEUP: Pierre Wensberg - vocals * Johan Bergquist - keyboards * Magnus Lindqvist - guitars * Robert Garnold - bass * Anton Roos - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Just As I Thought * 02 Hypnotized * 03 Written In Your Eyes * 04 Dare To Love * 05 Never Would I * 06 Heal Me * 07 Cage Of Broken Dreams * 08 Tearing Me Down * 09 For The Times We Share * 10 You Got What It Takes * 11 Modern Times

RATING: image

WEBLINKS: Site Link

Background

It was an easy decision to put Elevener's 2008 debut album 'When Kaleidoscopes Collide' into my top 10 albums of the year.

For awhile, I thought that would be their only output considering there was no news on their whereabouts between 2009 and 2010. But no, the band have returned, though things are markedly different in their world now.

Previously, Elevener were essentially the duo of Johan Bergquist and Andreas Broden. Broden has since departed and Bergquist has turned Elevener into a fully fledged five piece band.

As a consequence, the sound and dynamics have changed substantially, even though Bergquist has tried to retain the essence of what went before.

Coming in are four new boys: Pierre Wensberg previously from other Swedish outfits Prisoner and Heartbreak Radio, guitarist Magnus Lindquist, bassist Robert Garnold and drummer Anton Roos.

All are familiar names on the Gothenberg circuit, and all join the Elevener cause. It's well delivered Scandi AOR, and this is a CD I've been waiting for since those heady days of 2008.

The Songs

The structure and arrangements of the songs all have Bergquist's indelible hand over them, that you can tell. The delivery method is slightly different with five independent players now involved versus just two on the last album.

But what hasn't changed is the sound and feel that was and still is an Elevener trademark. If anything, the sound is fuller and even tighter than before, though the songs are a little less engaging upon initial listening.

But just as I say that, along comes the opener 'Just As I Thought', which is the perfect appetizer.

'Hypnotised' is a compulsory listen, part Grand Illusion part Bad Habit, but even better is to come with 'Written In Your Eyes' a bonafide AOR affair that I've been playing quite a bit of lately.

We hit ballad time with 'Dare To Love', the rolling tom toms are a feature with this one.

Elevener rock out hard on 'Never Would I', a fast paced Journey-esque effort, must have been the lyric still we ride. that gave me the comparison.

'Heal Me' is another ballad with more of a West Coast feel, moving in the vein of Street Talk.

Pumping up the energy to another level is 'Cage Of Broken Dreams', helped along the way by strong vocal harmonies and a strident bass line.

Lindquist increases his guitar presence on 'Tearing Me Down', as a result this is the heaviest track on the CD.

'For The Times We Share' is a mostly acoustic ballad, unfortunately I didn't connect with this one.

Unlike the next track 'You Got What It Takes' which for me is the closest song in style to the debut album. Great stuff.

The album closer 'Modern Times' has some interesting moments too, and is a fast-paced rocker that sees off the album in a melodic bluster.

In Summary

Admittedly I had to really sit down with this CD a few times to appreciate its value. It wasn't as instant as 'When Kaleidoscopes Collide' was, which was part of my problem (yes, my problem - no one elses), but gradually I got into it after repeat plays.

I still think in the final wash-up that the collection of songs on this CD is not as strong as those on WKC, perhaps it's what we call the 'sophomore syndrome' but perhaps also the new environment in which Elevener now operates.

'Symmetry In Motion' is similar to the new Myland album, which got lost in the shadow of its more classic predecessor, though WKC and this one are far more similar - unlike Myland's two efforts.

Along with the aforementioned Bad Habit, plus new boys H.E.A.T and Houston, Elevener ensure that Swedish AOR is in pretty good hands at the moment.

This is sort of CD that needs to be turned up loud to appreciate its full sound. A dinky iPod just won't do. Oh and one other thing, isn't the cover art sensational?


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