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'Primrose Path' is Finnish outfit For Selena And Sin's follow up album to 2007 debut 'Overdosed On You', and what a mightily fine collection of contemporary melodic rock-metal tunes it is. Theoretically, I shouldn't like this as much as I do through reading the press blurb, which describes their output as "emotional...pop/rock influenced music" - this flashes a huge 'cheese' warning sign before I've even spun the disc, although the actual listening experience proves 'Primrose Path' is far from your average cheesy rock. So what elevates these Finns above the genre's clichéd trappings? First, and foremost, some incredibly skilful songwriting. Each track, be it the energetic, up-tempo type such as opener 'Countdown to the Stars' or the slower paced 'Summer Hill', are embellished with original, aurally engaging melodies. So sure, I'd say emotional pop/rock but also with a heavier vibe in its execution with neatly layered instrumentation in a truly fantastic mix and generally polished, flawless production. Another strength of the band is Annika Jalkanen's incredible vocal talent, which has every quality necessary to convey the emotions intended through the music at all the right points - power; melancholy; fragility; and smoother than smooth tones. Keyboard/guitar layers are, at times, reminiscent of 'One Second' era Paradise Lost - particularly on the up-tempo chorus of 'Broken Mirror' and passages in 'Colour My World' - the introduction of male vocals on these tracks courtesy of guest singer Tuomas Tuominen, rather reminiscent of Nick Holmes himself, consolidates the PL similarities. Oh yeah, and at track five we have a Kylie Minogue cover, 'Confide In Me', which surprisingly fits in well with the flow of the album and, such as it's metalled up, serves to further highlight For Selena And Sin's fusion of rock elements and pop credentials. Also, what is it with this Minogue track and metal bands? Anyone remember Sarah Jezebel Deva's cover with Angtoria back in 2006? Are they attempting to forge a new subgenre of Kylie Metal?! Overall, 'Primrose Path' is a very solid release from a very talented band. Well worth checking out.
Mascot Records
Review by Mark Holmes
25th Jan 2010
1) Countdown To The Stars
2) Bring Me The Sun
3) Rusty Rails Of Yesterday
4) Horst
5) Confide In Me
6) Broken Mirror
7) Colour My World
8) Psycho Lover
9) Don’t Touch The Sky
10) Summer Hill
11) Five Days In A Row (Bonus Track)
12) Sister Sunset (Bonus Track)
"...a mightily fine collection of contemporary melodic rock-metal tunes...embellished with original, aurally engaging melodies."