BOOK OF REFLECTIONS – Chapter II: Unfold the Future

BOOK OF REFLECTIONS - Chapter II: Unfold the Future
  • 6.5/10
    BOOK OF REFLECTIONS - Chapter II: Unfold the Future - 6.5/10


Lion Music
Release date: November 24, 2006

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Lion Music has become a constant when it comes to Progressive, Melodic, and Neoclassical Metal. With surprising regularity, new albums are released from bands that never fail to exhibit a certain strength in composing, and definitely know how to handle their instruments. The average quality of a Lion release is quite astonishing, especially when one takes into consideration that there are about three outputs per month. A fan of said styles is normally safe in picking up (almost) any of their albums — of course, since they typically sail the same seas, this goes entirely the other way for fans of other genres. But, it’s a very commendable thing, to find a label that is absolutely reliable in every aspect. You’ve got to tip your hat for that.

Truth be told, this Book Of Reflections album is again a top release. That is not surprising at all when one looks at the musicians: Book Of Reflections is officially marked a Lion Music artists’ all-star project, and Chapter II – Unfold The Future is, as hinted, the second release. Mastermind Lars Eric Mattsson has composed and mixed every track, so it seems like it could be one of his solo albums with some guests. If one is familiar with Mattsson’s releases, this fact shines through more than occasionally, so the album would not stand out much if it had his name on the cover instead of Book Of Reflections. As a side note, Mattsson’s 2003 release, Power Games, that reminds occasionally of Ayreon’s ingenious Star One project, and features Lance King (Balance Of Power, Pyramaze), or last year’s War with singer Mark Boals (Ex-Malmsteen, Ring Of Fire), are good starts to begin your journey into his works if you do not know Mattsson already.

But back to the musicians … here is a list of artists who contributed to the album:

Lars Eric Mattsson – guitars, bass, keyboards, vocals
Björn Jansson (Tears Of Anger/Beyond Twilight) – vocals on three tracks
Martin LeMar (Tomorrow’s Eve) – vocals on three tracks
Anand Mahangoe (Sphere Of Souls) – guitar solo
Mistheria (Bruce Dickinson) – keyboard solo
Eddie Sledgehammer (Beyond Twilight/Condition Red/Vision) – drums

However, what difference does it make if it is called Book Of Reflections or Mattsson as long as the songs are of such a quality! Mattsson takes it often slightly straighter than he averagely does solo, and that makes the album more accessible. At times, the album positively reminds of Rainbow or Axel Rudi Pell as in “Ashes To Ashes” or the opening title track, but Mattsson’s favor for breaks and interludes is always apparent. “Free My Soul” is a very good example of that since it would be a straight, speedy song if composed by somebody else. But not here -– a few short disharmonies, unexpected pace, key changes and/or vocal interludes interrupt the song before it continues on its journey through one’s ears and into his feet.

That habit shines through frequently throughout the CD, be it in fast tracks or slower tunes. And, since he plays most instruments himself, it is quite common that the guitar gives way to a dominant keyboard for extravagant solos like in “Make Sure You Don’t Fall.”

All that seems to be less convincing in written form — one just has to listen to the weird beginning of “Deep Inside” or the cool vibe of “Got To Get Low” to be able to understand the variety exhibited here, limited as it may be within the genre chosen and never left, which does not even shy aways from a straight ballad, “Blink Of An Eye,” and a last song called “Love Conquers All,” which is based on rather strange keyboard play that almost sounds off key. And, after just over three minutes, it plunges into a guitar solo followed by a keyboard solo — and everything continues to sound slightly off key, but still it all fits and makes an interesting composition.

If one finds any negative points at all, it is that Lars Mattsson, while being a good singer with a bit too much vibrato in his voice, is only the third best vocalist on the album. But, that is only due to the fact that the other two, Björn Jansson and Martin LeMar, are just so incredibly good.


  • Frank Jaeger

    Frank was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Bavaria, Germany. He has worked in the games industry for more than 20 years, now on the manufacturing side, before on the publishing end. Before this, he edited and handled the layout for a city mag in northern Germany ... maybe that is why he love being part of anything published. Frank got hooked on Metal at the age of 14 when a friend introduced him to AC/DC. They were listening to The Beatles, Madness, and The Police, and he decided they should move on. Well, they did, Back in Black became Frank's first Metal album, and since Germany is reasonably close to England, they had some small New Waves Of British Heavy Metal washing up on their shores: Tygers Of Pan Tang, Samson, Gillan, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Sweet Savage, Diamond Head, etc. If he had to pick his favorite styles, Prog and Power Metal would be at the top of the list.

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