Lion Music
Release date: August 19, 2005

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Elias Viljanen (aka, E.Vil) is a Scandinavian guitar player, and a very good one. In fact, he praises this so much, that he claims to have “Concord fast fingers.” A follow-up to his debut album, The Leadstar is the new instrumental masterpiece released by this shredder.

E.Vil impresses by his ability to combine catchy, deep melodies, with “lighting speed” soloing. Through all of The Leadstar, remarkable themes, along with precise, addictive shredding are his trademark, and his work will fit well in your instrumental collection.

Guitar addicts will find his tone to be a bit lacking, though, with hints of direct recording being applied throughout the whole album, resulting in a guitar tone that is less than what you would expect from such a great player.

The self-indulgent titled opening track, “The Lord of the Strings,” with its atmospheric sonority opens ways to the Heavy Metal track “High-Powered.” This song wouldn’t be in your typical instrumental guitar album, as it has a very heavy side to it. It’s very cleverly composed, and could please both Metal and straight guitar fans.

Elias has very nice emotional moments, such as in “Touching the Sky.” Touching on Vai and Satriani’s territory, most songs here have an instantly captivating central theme. This guitarist pays close attention not to overdo his soloing, and keeps his songs very interesting while not giving up on the technical fireworks.

“Northern Storm” is the best track on this album, and shows off the uniqueness in E.Vil’s work. Although following the steps of the genre greats, such as Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, Viljanen brings a new aspect of Power Metal to the instrumental scenery. His Blues grooves in “Fast & Furious” and “Magic Seven” remind of “Satch Boogie” and similar songs, but with more personality. Legato playing and key modulations are part of this guitar player’s vocabulary, and his compositions showcase that.

As for ballads, they seem to be Elias’ specialty. His catchy melodies render themselves to expressing feelings and creating atmospheres in “Follow the Leadstar.”

You probably have already heard Lionel Ritchie singing “Hello.” What you have not heard yet is a version of it that doesn’t sound corny, or too over the top. Viljanen has given this song a soulful interpretation, adding lots of expression to the original vocal line, and beautiful acoustic and electric guitar harmonies.

Although the production issues detract a bit from the overall experience, this is a great instrumental record. If you are into instrumental rock, The Leadstar is a must have in your collection!


Elias Viljanen – Guitar
Rami Herckman – Bass
Tomi Ylonen – Drums
Jari Koivisto – Keyboards


  • Alex Reis

    Alex is a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, born and raised in Curitiba, PR, Brazil, yet living in Antwerp, Belgium, since 2010. AC/DC was his first intro to Rock and Metal, but Metallica and Iron Maiden were the turning point for his love of the genre. Alex has played the guitar since he was 14, and has been an aspiring musician ever since.  Also serving as lead guitarist and vocalist for Belgian/Brazilian Hard Rock outfit SSC, Alex and co. have released a single a few years ago, but are yet to follow with a full-length  release that's been 20 years in the works. When Alex is not writing for MER or making music, he works at the Belgian tech scene, having served as CTO and other technical roles in numerous startups and organizations.

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