UREAS – The Naked Truth


Locomotive Records
Release Date: June 27, 2006

User Review
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So if you’re singer, Pers Johansson (of the Danish band Fate), and you just finished releasing an impressive comeback album with same said band, what do you do for an encore? Well, you collaborate with your lovely and talented wife (keep your mind out of the gutter) on your own material, get together a strong band, add some guest musicians and a top-notch producer (Tommy Hansen of Helloween and Fate fame), and release your own album by your own band. The material for The Naked Truth is a collection of ten unique-sounding songs that revolve around the hardships the couple have endured over the last six years in their own personal lives (death, family, acquaintances, losing their home, suicide, etc.). All these factors have made for a very compelling debut release.

The music contained within this disc is powerful, slightly dark (given the subject matter), yet at times melodic. Possibly best described as Power Metal with a touch of new Fate (given the involvement of Pers and Søren) and dabs of “Goth” intermixed. Pers’ chorus arrangements are stellar, catchy, and memorable … similar traits to the choruses on Fate’s V release. These power choruses really add that touch of melody to an overall powerful wall of sound. This debut release also introduces the world to the soft, sultry vocals of Pers’ wife, Heidi Johansson. Heidi shares some of the same endearing vocal qualities of Evanescence’s Amy Lee, while actually being more soprano in delivery than Lee, but no less effective. A Korg Triton synthesizer supplies an occasional “Industrial” nuance to the music here and there to spice things up. Guitars? Well, guitars are in attendance in full force, at times rivaling the buzz saw sound of bands like Rammstein, all accompanied by a heavy bass/drum rhythm section … very powerful stuff. All of this is delivered by a nice, crisp, clear and thick Tommy Hansen produced sound.

As far as highlights, there’s not a bad song present on this disc. The opening three tracks “Intoxicated,” “Bang Bang,” and “In My Life” (written about Pers’ suicide attempt in 2002) are fine representations of the power and emotion this band is capable of producing. There are some offbeat moments like the track “Colour Us Blind,” which slows the tempo down a bit and can best be described as an “odd” ballad for a few reasons. Pers’ vocal delivery is akin to his approach on V’s “Life” as well as the blistering, off beat-sounding guitar solo provided by Freak Kitchen’s Mattias “IA” Eklundh. “Seven-Days Weekend” is another offbeat track with Pers supplying an electronic, Martian-sounding, vocal delivery. The song also has a heavy backbeat that comes across as more of a stomp, truly diverse in nature. Of course, this track also has a strikingly diverse guitar solo, once again supplied by Eklundh (is there a pattern developing here?).

Bottom line, this is a very powerful and moving collection of songs. If you are a fan of heavy, thick guitar, then this release is for you. This album should provide a truly wonderful surprise to unsuspecting Power Metal fans. Metal Express Radio qualifies as one of the unsuspecting as we came across this release and band through the “power” of MySpace.com. Truly a sleeper hit, and one of 2006’s best Melodic Power Metal releases!

Heidi Johansson – Vocals and Keyboards
Per Johansson – Vocals and Keyboards
Kasper Gram – Bass
Søren Hoff – Guitars
Mikael Skou Jørgensen – Drums
Tommy Hansen – Production

Guest Musicians
Frederik Hansen – Guitars on “My Dearest One” and “Spiritual Possessed”
Mattias “IA” Eklundh – Guitar Solos on “Colour Us Blind” and “Seven-Days Weekend”


  • 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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