Excelsis Audiovision - The Calling (Rivel Records) 2005

1. "The Calling" (3:27)
2. "The King Is Alive" (4:21)
3. "Evil or Divine" (4:12)
4. "The Rock of My Soul" (3:58)
5. "Read Between the Lines" (4:29)
6. "Face to Face" (3:49)
7. "Show Me the Way" (3:47)
8. "Love Is Like Oxygen" (6:36)
9. "Hold Me" (3:56)
10. "Colors" [instrumental] (4:46)

Audiovision is Narnia vocalist Christian Rivel's solo band and also features Lion Share's axeman Lars Chriss who also produced this album. Chriss co-wrote most of the songs with Rivel. On top of Christian and Lars, this project also features such musical guests as Bruce Kulick (ex- Kiss, Union, ESP) , Jeff Scott Soto (Talisman & ex-Yngwie Malmsteen´s Rising Force), Tony Franklin (Whitesnake, Blue Murder), Mats Levén (Krux, At Vance & ex-Yngwie Malmsteen´s Rising Force), Mic Michaeli (Europe) Michael Höglund (Punchline, Ex Thunder & Great King Rat), Carl Johan Grimmark (Narnia) and a host of others. This CD features quite the guest list . However, a bunch of well-known guest artists does not guarantee a good album. Well, I can honestly say that Audiovision is quite good. The production is top-notch and the overall sound is heavier than Christian's band Narnia. Comparisons to Narnia are inevidable, but to be honest the only similarity is in the vocals and some of the vocal melodies. While Narnia has more of a neo-classical style, Audiovision is pure power metal similar to bands like Edguy and, of course Lion's Share. The nine original numbers are all memorable, but what really blew me away was the one cover song. Audiovision's cover of Sweet's "Love Is Like Oxygen" has Christian sharing the lead vocals with Jeff Scott Soto. These guys just tear up this song and make it their own. However, that is not to say that the rest of the album isn't as strong. One listen to album opener "The Calling" and any self respecting heavy metal fan should be pleased. Other highlights include the full throttle rocker "Read Between The Lines" and the Dio inspired "Evil or Divine". Audiovision may be from Sweden, but their sound is world class. Any fan of Heavy Metal, Power Metal, or even progressive metal would do themselves well to check out this disc.

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