MYSTERELL – Sensational

MYSTERELL - Sensational


Frontiers Records
Release date: December 2004

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

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Mysterell is the project by Denmark’s Torben Lysholm, a remarkably diversified musician and producer, better known for his association with the Hard Rock band Pangea. Lysholm wrote, produced, and played all of the instruments for this debut Mysterell album, Sensational, a Melodic Rock release with an uplifting feel to it, comprised of 11 tracks totaling roughly 46 minutes.


Lysholm latches on to a sound and delivery that is very upbeat and positive in Sensational. Even when he’s singing about relational uncertainty and pain, the songs have an unusual effect of not bringing the listener down or making one angry, instead Lysholm succeeds in creating that light at the end of tunnel within each of his songs. From a structural standpoint, you can tell quickly that Lysholm is a talented songwriter who knows how to develop a theme both musically and lyrically, and string together some pretty catchy verses. Musically, the most impressive aspect to Sensational is clearly the guitar work. Lysholm plays all of the instruments for this album, but 95% of the time all of the other instruments are just window dressing for his guitar work, which takes the form of conventionally distorted Hard Rock, to Spanish-ish acoustic, to undistorted electric. He’s not Malmsteen when it comes to blistering speed, but Lysholm still rips off a few impressive solos within this album, and delivers some well-thought out riffs and fills.

Roughly half of this album is in the vein of latter day Def Leppard Hard Rock, while the other half dabbles in something that’s just a step or 2 harder than what you may hear from Michael Bolton. In and of themselves, all of the songs are solid, with the highlights including the upbeat “Don’t Ever Stop,” the festive “Bring The House Down” along with “Take Me To The River,” and the musically complex (a la Pink Floyd) “Remember Me.”


Lysholm evidently has some real creative musical juices rushing through his being, as is evident in songs like “Remember Me” and “The Challenge,” and at times, this album delves into some intricate “headphones only” passages. Other times, though, Lysholm gets a bit too sappy, even for Melodic Rock. He has a good and pleasant voice, but makes the mistake of letting the vocals dominate too many of the tracks in this album instead of letting his musical creativity carry more (or all) of the tracks.


Overall, this is a very solid Melodic Rock effort by Lysholm’s Mysterell. Clearly this album falls into one of those gray areas, however, of having elements that will clearly appeal to some music fans and not to others. The up-tempo tracks will undoubtedly appeal to a host of Light Metal and Hard Rock fans, while some of the more intricate tracks will certainly appeal to guitar enthusiasts, and, as mentioned, the down-tempo, gooey tracks will mostly appeal to the ladies who support vocally-intensive artists like Michael Bolton, and such persons likely won’t give a hoot about the up-tempo tracks and quality guitar work. Because of this, Sensational may simply be best suited for a mixed company environment where both parties are willing to sacrifice their preferences for half of an album in order to satisfy those same principles during the other half. Lysholm delivers a quality product, no doubt about that, but the product may have a bit of difficulty finding it’s perfect niche.


  • Dan Skiba

    Dan is a former partner at Metal Express Radio, and also served as a reviewer, photographer and interviewer on occasions. Based out of Indianapolis, USA he was first turned on to Hard Rock music in the mid-1970s when he purchased Deep Purple's Machine Head as his first album. He was immediately enthralled with the powerful guitar sound and pronounced drumbeat, and had to get more! His collection quickly expanded to include as many of Heavy Rock bands of the time that he could get his hands on, such as Ted Nugent, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath, to name just a few.

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