|Review: Audiovision - Focus|
Label: Ulterium Records
Year released: 2010
Genre: Heavy/Power Metal
Review online: August 12, 2010
Reviewed by: Lior "Steinmetal" Stein
Audiovision was first introduced to the metal world as a side project by the brilliant vocalist Christian Rivel-Liljegren. However, with his departure from the recently split up Narnia and the break-up of Divinefire, Audiovision seems to have been elevated to a full time band. Five years after their debut, The Calling, the band is back with Focus, released by the band's local label, Ulterium Records.
Audiovision stays true to the religious themes of Rivel-Liljegren's other works. The result is a good Christian Metal album with roots in 70s and 80s Heavy Metal. The material is flowing, simple and enjoyable to listen to. On the majority of tunes, Rivel-Liljegren spreads out his gospel and uses catchy choruses and classic riffs to generate an aura that keeps one captivated.
The album's greatest achievements are the quality production and mixing, courtesy of Erik Mårtensson and Micke Lind. The rather diverse guitar sound, ample beats and general feeling presents Focus not solely as a Heavy Metal record, but also has elements of Hard Rock and Power Metal. Audiovision has a knack for creating great Christian hits. Rivel-Liljegren's experience helps create an easy path to enjoy the melodic, yet powerful, songs. As is the case with American Christian Metal, with its share of heavy hitters, so it goes with the Swedes. This is the same formula under a different country's flag.
With that formula come some problems. Although most of the tracks are very good, there is a lack of originality. Granted, it is hard to be original when focused on a single theme or topic like, say, war metal. Audiovision tries to inject a bit of Hard Rock to their songs to separate them from others in the field, yet, after so many gospel metal tunes, Audiovision did no different. Maybe more energetic than Rivel-Liljegren's mates' band Hero, the music still keeps repeating itself.
Audiovision's Focus is a must have, and not just for the fan who digs Christian Metal. Take away the Christianity stuff and you still have a worthy 70s/80s-style Heavy Metal assault going on. Feast on the soft melodies, heavy, gripping, heart-breaking solos and blazing speedsters. This one is all you can eat.
Highlights: "Keep the Fire Burning," "Invitation," "You Are the Reason," "The Son Will Come," "I Will Belong to You," "The Gate," "We Are Not Alone."
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