Lion Music
Release date: November 1, 2005

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

The legendary Finnish Prog Rock veteran Lars Eric Mattsson has blessed guitar fans with a brand new Instrumental Rock record, Earthbound. After a 14-year hiatus, several side projects, and more than a couple of releases of his main project, Mattsson, and his latest Prog Metal opera, War, the shredder went minimalist and took to the “Guitarist and Drummer” approach.

Earthbound has an overall Prog-ish feel, showing off all of Mattsson’s magnificent playing. Drifting away from his neo-classical roots, the album has a highly varied landscape, flirting with everything form Oriental to Classical music and all things in-between.

There are plenty of heavy tracks in Earthbound, but they are still melodic enough to keep the listener’s attention. “From the Skies,” with its magnificent melodies and heavy riffs is not really what you’d expect to hear in a Guitar album.

There aren’t enough words to express Mattsson’s playing. Arpeggios fly off from his fingers in lighting fast speed and stunning precision, and his sound is crisp and clear. In Earthbound, you will find way more than a shredding exercise … it’s a stunning Instrumental experience.

While not being polished or overly produced, the album maintains a nice overall production quality, with the guitars and drums upfront in the mix, but not covering anything else; making the listening experience very pleasant.

Some jazzy moments can also be found on Earthbound, showing Mattsson in an eclectic mode. The title track, “Earthbound,” although being mostly Neo-Classical in its essence, steps into Jazz territory for a mood switch.

Latin rhythms are also present within the album’s soundscape, as can be heard in the soulful “Time Capsule.” Clean guitars shine with gracefulness, and while not falling into virtuoso territory, make for a nice melodic, charismatic feel.

Your ticket to the Asian continent is guaranteed within Earthbound as well. Mattsson plays the Sitar on several tracks, and mixes nicely Oriental passages with Progressive soundscapes such as in “Delhi.”

Full shredding moments you’d expect from any Guitar album are also present in Earthbound, and since it deals with Mattsson, they feature a great Neo-Classical Finnish accent. Listen to “ShreadHead” for Maestro Lars Eric Mattsson’s great virtuosity show-up.

If you are looking for something different from what you usually expect in a Guitar album, or are a fan of the Prog Metal master Lars Eric Mattsson, Earthbound is definitely worth a spin. If there is such a thing as Instrumental Prog Metal Guitar Rock, this is definitely it.


  • 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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