Saturday, August 11, 2007
"Treasure Land - The Search Has Begun" review
Treasure Land look set to become one of the most exciting neo-classical outfits of 2007 if the 4 tracks currently available on their official website are anything to go by. Entitled “The Search Has Begun”, the 4 tracks see guitarist Jonas Hörnqvist deliver tracks with the same kind of quality as heard on Malmsteen’s “Trilogy” albeit updated for the 21st century. Rest assured guitar heads will get a major kick out of this but luckily the song writing is equally up to scratch. Rick Altzi handles vocals here but the band have recently announced that he has left the band and a replacement is being sought. If the band can get in a high profile name (and the material gives no reason as to why they couldn’t) this could be the shot in the arm the neo-classical genre needs to get it back into the public eye.
Kicking off with the high intensity of “The Cities Are Burning” home to a scolding riff and rampant double bass drum work with an equally strong production the track is infectious and will be a winner in the live environment. The solo is equally stunning with Hörnqvist playing with equal parts speed yet with a keen ear for melody. An arpeggio sequence kicks it off before the fretboard explodes into frenzy – glorious stuff before some trade offs between guitar and keys see Hörnqvist go up another gear before another sweep picked arpeggio section brings us back into the chorus to round out the track. “Let The Curtain Fall” falls into a impressive mid tempo tune with another great riff which breaks down for the verse before picking up again for the chorus, here there is a hint of modern day power metal ala Silent Force or Iron Mask (no bad thing) and its another triumph with another scorching solo from Hörnqvist. “The Price” sees the tempo pick up again for a rocker giving of the same sort of feel as Malmsteen’s ‘Liar’ yet with nothing here remotely smelling of plagiarism. An intricate classical melody sequence again kicks off the solo section before Hörnqvist impresses once again when he cuts loose. The eastern meets Spanish latino tinted acoustic instrumental of “Only For You” adds another spin to the proceedings with some beautiful melodies over film score like orchestral arrangements.
Overall “The Search Has Begun” demonstrates a very high level of songwriting, performance and craft and I cannot wait to hear more. Check out the clips now at http://www.treasureland.nu/