Label: Liljegren Records
Review by Tony Cannella
Per Fredrik “PelleK” Asly is a Norwegian rock/metal vocalist. He is a member of several bands including the British symphonic rock band Damnation Angels and the progressive rock collaboration project The Anabasis. With “Bag of Tricks” PelleK has released his debut solo effort. It may have his name on the sleeve, but it is collaboration between PelleK and some talented musicians in the metal world, in that way it is similar in concept to projects like Avantasia or Ayreon. Musically, PelleK displays an up-tempo symphonic metal sound similar to the likes of Avantasia or Stratovarius.
There are only two females that is featured on “Bag of Tricks” one is Amanda Somerville who seems to be the one everyone wants on these ‘all star’ album and judging by her performance on “Send My Message Home” – a song where she duets with PelleK – it is easy to see why. Vocally PelleK is a bit different from the usual high pitched wailing symphonic metal singers. He’s got a Glenn Hughes or Jorn Lande style soulfulness to his voice that is pretty cool and a bit different from the norm. Musically, there is also a cinematic and dramatic effect to the music. The other female vocalist is the relatively unknown Norwegian singer Marit Borresen who is not necessarily from a metal background but when she is called upon, she definitely adds a lot to “Bag of Tricks”.
As far as these big production guests o plenty albums are concerned “Bag of Tricks” by PelleK is one of the better ones I’ve heard in a while – and one of the more under the radar. PelleK has not received the publicity that similar projects have received but that doesn’t mean that “Bag Of Tricks” doesn’t deserve to be mentioned along side of them. Each musician stamps their unique talents to the album, thus making it a creative – if not commercial – success.
Rating – 88/100
- Fugue State
- Reason and Psychosis
- Send My Message Home
- Don’t Belong
- Stare Into My Eyes
- Born in Babylon
- Bag of Tricks
- Conflagrate My Heart
- PelleK- Lead & backing vocals & keyboards
- Tommy ReinXeed – Guitars, bass, keyboards, backing vocals, orchestration, drums & programming
- Gisha – Guitars
- Oliver Hartmann (Hartmann & At Vance) – Lead vocals on “Reason” and “Psychosis”
- Marit Borresen – Lead & backing vocals
- Amanda Sommerville (Avantasia, Trillium) – Lead vocals on “Send My Message Home”
- Anders Ringdal Strom – Acoustic guitar & lead vocals on “Born In Babylon”
- Tommy Karevik (Seventh Wonder) – Lead vocals on “Stare Into My Eyes”