|Review: Lancer - Lancer|
Label: Doolittle Group
Year released: 2013
Genre: Heavy/Power Metal
Review online: January 18, 2014
Reviewed by: Luxi Lahtinen
The youngsters in Sweden's Lancer have been loyally following in the footsteps of bands like Helloween and Iron Maiden, crafting utterly melodic, catchy and warm-sounding Power/Heavy Metal that leaves no one cold. Lancer was formed in Arvika, Sweden in 2009 and has been winning metalheads to their cause, one person after another. A small Swedish record company named Doolittle laid their eyes on the group and soon the band was in the studio to record their self-titled debut album in July/August 2012.
The word "promising" doesn't really do justice describing how well they have aped the best elements from the previously mentioned bands. They have made some sinfully catchy Heavy Metal on this debut. Lancer's true strength is their sense of melody and their ability to incorporate it in the song structure. This is how you make people happy and, eventually, make them worship you.
A song like "Dreamchasers" could be Lancer's version of "Future World" and "Mr. Starlight" could well be any song off the early Kiske-era Helloween records. There are musical connections to Maiden in songs like "The Exiled" and "Between the Devil and the Deep." "Young & Alive," on the other hand, reminds me of one particular Sonata Arctica track, due to its chorus (take a wild guess). But don't assume Lancer is lame just because their influences are so apparent. Even Lancer's vocalist, Isak Stenvall, manages to look like a younger version of Bruce Dickinson and sound a bit like Mr. Dickinson and Mikael Kiske. And that won't harm the band's image, will it?
I take my hat off to these Swedish lads for their musical achievements. There's never enough truly passionate, professionally played and nostalgic Heavy Metal these days and Lancer bring a good load of it all on their debut.
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