Lars Eric Mattsson | Aurora Borealis - Concerto for Orchestra and Electric Guitar

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Metal/Punk: Neo-Classical Metal Classical: Contemporary Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Aurora Borealis - Concerto for Orchestra and Electric Guitar

by Lars Eric Mattsson

Guitar virtuoso / composer Lars Eric Mattsson returns with the ultimate neo-classical experience in which metal and rock guitar, bass and drums meets classical music for the harmoniously rich ‘Aurora Borealis’
Genre: Metal/Punk: Neo-Classical Metal
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1. Rising
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5:18 $0.99
2. Bounce
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4:18 $0.99
3. Cold Water Spirit
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5:58 $0.99
4. Forward Thinking
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6:19 $0.99
5. Revolutionary Star
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4:42 $0.99
6. The Heart
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3:58 $0.99
7. Eternal Cycles
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4:22 $0.99
8. Clear Skies
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4:08 $0.99
9. Planetary Strenght
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3:19 $0.99
10. Parisienne Etude
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0:57 $0.99
11. Midnight Sun
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12. Starfall
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Guitar virtuoso / composer Lars Eric Mattsson returns with the ultimate neo-classical experience in which metal and rock guitar, bass and drums meets classical music for the harmoniously rich ‘Aurora Borealis’. This new wholly instrumental 12 track release takes a fresh approach to the blend of guitar and orchestra for a musical experience as uplifting as seeing
the wonder of the northern lights, from which the album gets its title. Whilst the combination of orchestra and guitar may have been done before by amongst others one of Mattsson’s influences Uli Jon Roth; Aurora Borealis takes the range of sound and expressions further that what has been heard before and places as much emphasis on each tracks backing as with its guitar work. The result is a highly captivating and listenable experience. Lush in textures and timbres, „Aurora Borealis comes across at times like a film score; sometimes fast and exotic whilst at others sweet and luxurious. Many moods are covered and all of which see Mattsson deliver impassioned guitar work in his own inimitable style. Mattsson made a big point during the albums compositional stage to deliver an album that could theoretically be performed live within the right setting. To achieve this there is only ever one guitar heard at a time, sometimes playing the lead part but not always. Lars Eric Mattsson comments, “I tried to compose the music with enough variations and the right flow from start to end and keep things listenable by using the right arrangements”. To ensure his guitar would work as cleanly as possible with the orchestral parts Mattsson kept his signal chain as pure as possible with only the occasional wah pedal between guitar and amp (with some delay and reverb added in post production). The result is a clean sounding release with strong dynamics and a wide tonal palette.
Despite its relative complexity „Aurora Borealis_ may well be easier on the listener than some of his previous vocal progressive metal releases such as 2010’s critically acclaimed „Mattsson Tango, although Lars concedes with a smile, “It might sound less complex though I am not sure it actually is!”. As a final comment when asked to sum up the new release Mattsson responds, “Classical music and rock has been mixed before with various results but never this way, I tried to create something very unique and I don't think it's fair to label this as just another instrumental guitar album”.
''Aurora Borealis" sees Lars Eric Mattsson almost halfway through his third decade in the music business with a new release that is testament to his vision and appetite to ever expand his musical horizons and does so in fine style.


Reviews


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www.virtuosityone.com

An instrumental masterpiece
Swedish guitarist Lars Eric Mattsson has over the course of 3 decades in the music industry carved out his own niche of progressive fused neo-classically tinted metal. Now under his own name Lars returns to the instrumental genre for what is arguably his biggest undertaking to date. “Aurora Borealis” is a 12 movement ‘concerto for electric guitar and orchestra’ which sees a classical approach infused with rock idioms. For whilst this is a ‘scored’ orchestral release we have quite traditional rock drumming and bass playing. As a result this is quite an accessible release and actually less challenging on the listener than some of Mattsson’s more “expected” instrumental offerings such as “Earthbound” and vocal releases like ‘War’.

Whilst the narrative of the release is without doubt complex, the overall sonic presentation is relatively easy on the ear and makes for an enjoyable journey from start to finish. There are moments of light and shade (as you would expect) but also a deft use of melody and counter melody.

Mattsson’s guitar work is also amongst the most unique in the rock and metal field. Never one to play the expected Lars challenges us the listener with unorthodox phrases and note rests. His fluidity when playing extended quick picked lines suggests “pick monster” yet the light touch produces a bounce to the notes. That said one element that the like of Uli Jon Roth seem to favour heavily in their works of this nature are heavily inflected bent notes and a variety of vibratos on sustained notes. These are not always in Mattsson’s ‘book of licks’ and on one hand do lend Mattsson a distinct sound but on the other do leave some licks feeling a little sterile. That said for the most part the guitar work serves to compliment the orchestration and is very good indeed.

Highlights come in the guise of the uplifting “Bounce” with its dancing melody, the dark haunting vibe of “Cold Water Spirit”, the more neo-classical rock tinted “Eternal Cycles” and the most progressive “Planetary Strength”.

Performed almost in its entirety by Mattsson himself “Aurora Borealis” can be considered one of the most complex of Mattsson’s career but also one of the most enjoyable. This along with last years “Tango” sees Lars Eric Mattsson in the form of his career.