Maximum Metal Rating Legend
5 Excellent - Masterpiece. A classic.
4.5-4 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a lacking.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio.
2.5-2 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors.
1.5-1 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible - Waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.
Hans Dalen
Back to Life
Hard Rock
4/2/2010 - Review by: Maya Ahuja

Hans Dalen
Back to Life EP

Company: Self Released
Release: 2009
Genre: Hard Rock
Reviewer: Maya Ahuja

  • A solo artist to watch

  • Meet Hans Dalen: Hailing from the land of Vikings this Norwegian is a guitarist with a difference, so much so I just had to review his EP here at Maximum Metal!

    Dalen a multi-instrumentalist started playing piano at the age of around seven and later drums and hasn't stopped since, however, the guitar is where his main talent is clearly at. With roots in the finest of Norwegian death metal, he played in the band GROMS and recorded the album that mustered a fair amount of underground critical acclaim in the mid 90's--'Ascension'. So what does Dalen sound like now?

    The first track of his solo project EP entitled 'Back to Life' takes a melodic and rhythmical journey leading the listener from one territory to another, you have no option but to focus on the track with every part of yourself (this is not elevator music!). Entering with a grooving slow but steady riff we are hollered at by lead guitars high above the vibe that wind to and fro with stunning heights of sincerity and scale passages that would make Mssr. Vai proud.

    Segueing almost quite bizarrely into the realms of Terra Malmsteen we are suddenly back in the 1700's eating with Bach; the sweep picking perfectly executed over harmonized synths and the steady 4/4 rhythm leads us to somewhere again of magnificent difference and subtly back again without so much as noticing the transition of the original groove.

    'Tribute' introduces itself as a solid rock track with harmonized guitars that add a glossy and produced texture to the veneer of this simple but solid melody, however before too long, Dalen grows inpatient of this and leads the listener off to a doom ridden groove and through the door to a major and uplifting canter to the home run. The element that makes Dalen a success is that this is soloing without the pretensions that befall so many guitarists of this category and leaving the listener to either turn off or stop taking notes on how he does it.

    The closer 'Meryam' is an anthemic ode to all things of pure fret-worshipery and if it wasn't for the well planned, almost in-harmonious note that Dalen wrote in, this would be the usual over-indulgent solo-ridden melody. Thankfully this boy has far more to offer under the surface and just as you lay back on your laurels he switches the tempo and enters in with a screaming lead over crazed harmonies; nothing more is needed here than a simple and solid bass and drums ending elegantly with a very dignified harpsichord. Overall Hans Dalen is a solo artist to watch!

      4.5 :AVE RATING

    Back to Life
    Maya Ahuja4/2/2010


    << back >>