The second release of Swedish power metal band Mad Hatter is the first in my collection. Thanks to metal lords, there are still great labels on planet Earth that delivers CDs. I don’t know about you, but when I find CD in my mailbox, I feel like a child in a candy store.
Swedes they are, like Germans they sound. Specifically, I point my finger, if we are talking about the singing style, in the direction of Tobias Sammeth’s, early Edguy plus Avantasia opus influence and Angra (Andre Matos era). Conceptually, they are the closest to Blind Guardian. Who needs more?
To begin with the band name… For all of us dreamers, fiction and fantasy lovers, Mad Hatter, tells you all.
When it comes to reality, the album abounds with clean vocals, twin guitars, amazing solos, double bass drums, dramatic choir parts, but at the first place versatility. For example, pay attention on flamenco section in “The Valley” and on prelude in “Ignite”.
“Fever Dreams”, one minute instrumental in King Diamond style, leads us slowly to the world of fantasy. “Master of the Night” is the first single released in April and followed by interesting lyric video.
Mad Hatter Lewis Carroll’s fantastical “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” inspiration is the most evident in “Queen of Hearts”. The next one, “Rutledge Asylum”, is the middle pace. While maybe there is too much Sammeth’s influence here, the next song “The Children from the Stars” turns to Helloween direction.
Every fantasy needs a touch of reality. “Pieces of Reality” brings us back to 80’s, at least if we are talking about keyboards. Although I was never a huge keyboards lover, I have to admit Mad Hatter found the perfect measure. Again, enormous Sammeth’s influence on vocal interpretation might be the most apparent in this song.
Already mentioned, “The Valley” with flamenco guitar might trick you. The song brings back pure Power Metal. Here I can recognize the best guitar solo on this album. “Ignite”, another catchy one, a bit heavier, with excellent choir parts. “Awake” with really weird introduction, and I was like: “Damn, now they will ruin the whole album!”. But, no! This might be the best song of the album. Again keyboards, change of pace from explosive to tranquil… “Collector of Souls” is bit darker which gives the album perfect balance.
Grand finale! “I’ll Save the World” is Power Metal in its original form. Pounding drums, keyboards, another great guitar solo… It has it all! The world is saved!
If you are searching for quality metal, you have found it!