Spinefarm Records
Release date: October 20, 2004

Vocals: C-
Guitars: A
Bass: C
Drums: B
Keyboards: B+
Lyrics: B
Recording Quality: B+
Originality: B
Overall Rating: B+

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

What do you get when you combine musical elements from the Power Metal music genre, Accept, Rising Force, Dream Theater, and some memorable flash fret board work? While the answer to that loaded question can certainly vary, you wouldn’t be far off the mark if you answered with Twilight Guardian’s Wasteland release. Wasteland represents Twilight Guardian’s second full length release, and it’s a release that holds many splendid things spin after spin.

The release opens with some nice Power Metal chords and a chugging guitar riff with the track “Weak Generation.” Don’t get too comfortable, because about two minutes into the track you’ll be blasted by some exceptional lead guitar work by Carl-Johan Gustafsson. Hats off to Gustafsson, as his work on this release delivers fretwork on the par of many of today’s neo-classical guitarists. Couple this with rhythms that sometimes aspire to Accept-able proportions, and you have one hell of a guitar outing. No time to rest, though, because the second track, “The Next Call,” starts out with some nice riffing and keyboarding too. In fact, the guitar playing on this track, and many others, will surely remind you of a little known gentlemen named Malmsteen. The track entitled “Angels” throws you a surprise, as it starts out with a guitar harmony that has all the makings of a filler track … that is until the Accept-like guitar rhythm hits you square in the face. Once again, Gustafsson impresses with a solo containing vibrato and volume knob twiddling. Bottom line — this release is full of the same type of signatures within each and every track.

Alas, sometimes there needs to be bad with the good. In this case, this release’s only shortcoming might be the vocal talents of Vesa Virtanen. It’s not that his singing is terrible, it’s that most of the time he comes off sounding flat and monotone. Sure, occasionally he raises and lowers his voice an octave or so, but he doesn’t seem to exhibit the range of a much needed set of pipes like Geoff Tate or Ray Adler (Fates Warning). His singing comes off sounding very uninspired, which takes the release down a notch. The band also does an honorable cover of Judas Priest’s “Rocka Rolla,” which might be the track where Virtanen’s delivery style actually fits best.

While it would be nice to see this band hook up with a vocalist with more range, this should not prevent you from purchasing this release. The music is full of wonderful surprises, and contains some nice power movements along with some exceptional guitar work. Buy the release purely to hear the talents of Gustafsson, and you won’t be disappointed. Wasteland might just herald the second chapter in the life of the next “Guitar God.” It’s definitely one of the better releases of 2004.


Vocals: Vesa Virtanen
Guitars: Carl-Johan Gustafsson
Bass: Mikko Tang
Drums: Henri Suominen
Keyboards: Jari Pailamo


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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