The second full-length album by Norwegian Heavy/Thrash Metal band.
If evil is looking for a new soundtrack it might not be too far from the mark to suggest that "Sleepwalker" might be in line for adoption. The new album from Norwegian horror Thrashers Critical Solution is a glorious slab of visceral Rock ‘n’ Roll; a blood-letting drama and insatiable anthemic adventure rolled up into one seriously galvanic slab of ravenous Metal. The band impressed with their debut full-length two or so years back, but "Sleepwalker" is a whole new thrilling beast from a band exploring new plateaus of imagination and flavour rich confrontation.
Critical Solution play an interesting style of Heavy Metal that is influenced in various ways and at various levels by Thrash Metal and sometimes Speed Metal. But this album is a really interesting listen as it doesn’t really fit nicely into any category. That’s not to say that you can’t spot any clear influences, because you definitely can. It’s just that from one track to the next (and sometimes one riff to the next) the styles may shift rather starkly and the effect can be pretty startling.
The band is really good, using that European insight of Thrash/Heavy Metal without trying to sound as an 80 Metal band. But their stronger musical influence, Metallica on their classical four albums, is too clear, too evident. However, we can't deny that their efforts create something good for our ears. The vocals use very good tunes, the riffs are full of energy and melodies, and the rhythmic kitchen is really heavy and has a good technical work.
Clear and heavy sound is what the production gave to "Sleepwalker". It is truly heavy and aggressive, as their music demands, but clear enough for the melodies appear without problems. So we can say that their sound quality is pretty good.
And there are some really good guests here: Mika Lagreen from Grave on "Lt. Elliot", and Michael Denner and Hank Shermann (of course you all know Mercyful Fate and Denner/Shermann guitar duo).
As an album, this has everything – talented song writing, immense performances, a little bit of stardust from leviathans of the Metal genre and yet more of that cut-glass production quality from Andy LaRocque. The sheer potential for a band that’s putting out this level of quality on their second album is mind-blowing. It works as a concept album in a way that reminds of hearing "Operation: Mindcrime" for the first. Yes, it’s really that good. Given that the band have gone all out to create an atmosphere of fear and dread, the result shouldn’t be quite this inviting. Maybe it’s all a trap and we’ve been suckered in… Critical Solution own your souls now!!
Punishment 18 Records, 2016 (P18R 104). Made in Italy. First press.
1. The Curse 2:01
2. Sleepwalker 4:57
3. Welcome To Your Nightmare 3:48
4. Blood Stained Hands 7:05
5. Murder In The Night 5:46
6. Evidence Of Things Unseen 4:19
7. Lt.Eliot 7:01
8. Dear Mother 11:10
9. The Death Lament 4:15
10. Back From The Grave 4:33
Total playing time: 55:01