• 6/10
    SANDALINAS - Fly To The Sun - 6/10


Metal Heaven
Release date: January 18, 2008

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Three years after his first release, and after several tours supporting big names in Metal like Y&T and the Scorpions, Jordi Sandalinas returns with his second album called Fly To The Sun. Sandalinas is a Spanish guitar player who went to the Conservatory of Music in Spain and the New Milford Conservatory of Music in the USA. He is the mind behind the band, something easily recognizable already by the strange and rather unmetallic band name. Usually, albums from projects of guitarists tend to put musical craftmanship before compositor skills, and if you are not a real guitar aficionado, many have a tendency to become quite boring after a few spins, or even worse: after a few songs. Fortunately, if one expects such a “virtuoso exhibition,” he will be surprised: The album fits the Metal Heaven bill of Melodic Metal to the point instead of exposing the listener to endless shredding!

Sandalinas gathered some big names to accompany him on this release. Drum and Bass players are borrowed from Yngwie Malmsteen’s band, and Rick Altzi on vocals is known to most from his main band At Vance. Rounded off with a few guests like Chris Caffery on “Double Cross” and “Shadows In The Rain,” and Derek Sherinian on the emotional ballad “Seasons In The Sand,” this sounds like a recipe for a great album. Also, Andy LaRocque produced the album, and Derek Riggs is responsible for the cover artwork.

The opening title track is exactly a song you would expect from such an album: up-tempo, good melody, the stuff genre connoisseurs love. The compositions are somewhere in-between Rainbow or Axel Rudi Pell, Jorn Lande or Masterplan and, due to the voice, At Vance. It is obvious already from the start that Jordi Sandalinas aimed for good tracks rather than vertigo-inducing solo escapades, which makes the album quite enjoyable. His guitar play leaves enough room for the rhythm section to leave their mark, and Rick Altzi more than once manages to dominate a song. Having another guest guitar player is also an indication that he is far from Malmsteen-esque ego trips.

Through the course of the album, several highlights are worth mentioning: The second track, “Never Seen Before,” is another up-tempo song before a mid-tempo track called “Bad Dreams” impresses with interesting guitar parts and a good groove. Another great composition is “Double Cross,” rounded off with an impressive Caffery solo. “The Healer Talks” also has to be mentioned, too, as it differs from the rest of the material with a modern Blues approach.

Unfortunately, many other songs are just standard Melodic Metal compositions, not bad but paling in the light of those four outstanding tracks. Several times songs hold no surprises for the fans and are easily interchangeable with other Metal Heaven releases. Overall, it is a good release but Jordi Sandalinas probably even has a lot of potential for the future if he can write more songs like the kind described above. At this point, the album is recommended for Melodic Metal fans but will hardly impress the rest of the Metal scene. Then again, delivering what the audience is expecting is not such a bad thing either, is it?


  • 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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