Section A - 2006 Parallel Lives

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ARTIST: Section A
ALBUM: Parallel Lives
LABEL: Lion Music
SERIAL: LMC166
YEAR: 2006

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image image
LINEUP: Andy Engberg - vocals * Torben Enevoldsen - guitars, keyboards * Johan Koleberg - drums

Guests: Pontus Edberg - bass * Mats Olausson - keyboard solos

TRACK LISTING: 01 Hunted * 02 The Gift * 03 Awakening * 04 Dark Alliance * 05 Moment Of Truth * 06 Hoping For A Miracle * 07 Changing The Past * 08 Beginning Of The End

RATING: image

Background

Has it really been a full three years since Section A's debut The Seventh Sign? I guess Torben has been fairly busy with his solo album in 2005, the new Section A album and another project called Fatal Force which he is doing with Mats Leven (ex- Yngwie J Malmsteen, At Vance).

For 'Parallel Lives' the line-up has changed a little. The wonderful Andy Engberg is still at the helm, but the drum and bass duties fall to Andy's ex-Lions Share buddies Johan Kolegerg and Pontus Egberg respectively. Torben and Mats Olausson share the keyboard workload.

My review for 'The Seventh Sign' labeled the album a 'jaw-dropper'. That label is as apt today as it was in 2003 as 'Parallel Lives' is superbly crafted and performed with some of the most fluid, exciting soloing you are likely to hear, vocals of God-like proportion and songs that will in the space of a moment rip you to shreds and then soothe the soul. Not a whole lot has changed from the debut but 'Parallel Lives' sounds bigger, better, and indeed heavier.

The Songs

The riffs are melodic prog metal beasts and Torben's lead work has to be heard to be believed. His tone is astonishing, so clean and emotive.

'Hunted' puts a warning shot across the bow from the first note, the anger of the riff tempered by the distinctive vocals of Andy Engberg and the melodic chorus.

I could listen to 'The Gift' all day long with its Dann Huff (Giant) style intro, gut-busting riff and Andy's note perfect vocals. I can only describe 'Awakening' as sensational. Quite similar to 'Man In The Mirror' from the debut with its soft opening passage.

Andy duets with Elizabeth Kirwan (I'm assuming) and together they drive a very melodic track with a super chorus. 'Dark Alliance' opens with a fiery battle between Torben's lead attack and Mats Olausson's keyboard soloing.

The track continues on with soft verses and a heavy chorus. Section A's ability to disarm the listener is exhibited on the tracks 'Moment Of Truth', 'Hoping For A Miracle' and 'Changing The Past'. Each utilises the contrast between a hard riff, a subtle verse and a catchy chorus.

The final track 'Beginning Of The End' is a chugging melodic metal rocker and a good way to finish the album.

In Summary

The inclusion of two former Lions Share members has made the sound head a little in the Lions Share direction, but I am hearing similarities to the mighty Pagan's Mind and Magnitude Nine as well at times.

But the elements that made Section A so distinctive the first time around are still there in abundance. From start to finish a phenomenal album.


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