Kaktus Project- Superstition

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Thursday, July 28, 2011

Kaktus Project was created by guitarist Sylvain Rouviere, and while he may not be an instrumentalist that you are familiar with chances are you may know some of the musicians he’s surrounded himself with. On the group’s newest album Superstition Rouviere has collaborated with people that have been involved with Avantasia, Heavenly, Therion, and Masterplan among others and as you might expect this makes each track sound fairly different from the last. There are a few moments here and there that drag, but they’re the exception rather than the norm and if you enjoy heavy/power metal this is worth checking out.

The instrumentals on Superstition are pretty varied but always use melody as a common element. Whether the musicians are going at an extremely fast pace or offering up a slower ballad, all of the guitar work is melodic and makes this album sure to instantly appeal to power metal fans with its hooks. Right from the beginning it is made clear that Kaktus Project is able to write fast, edgy numbers as the opening song “Farewell” flies by at a brisk pace. The instrumental work is very well done, and you can tell that Rouviere has compiled a great crew of musicians to bring his vision to life. However, there is one issue that stands out throughout Superstition. There are a couple of slow ballads featuring female vocals, and while these aren’t bad they don’t have the same hooks as the faster songs and come and go without making a big impression. The cover of “Bohemian Rhapsody” is pretty cool though, and comes as a nice surprise at the end of the disc.

While the instrumental work was definitely one of the main highlights on this album, it is worth mentioning that the vocalists involved in Kaktus Project give stellar performances as well. As you might expect, each singer has their own unique touches that they bring to a particular song but as they have all been picked from the heavy/power metal scene there is a sense of familiarity between them. They all have strong voices that are well suited to the band’s combination of melody and intensity, and on the softer ballads the female vocalists take over and give a mellower, serene performance. One thing I would like to see in the future is more collaboration between the vocalists involved, as some duets between the female and male singers involved in this project could prove to be quite interesting.

The ballads could use a little bit more work, but the up-tempo numbers more than make up for it and because of this Superstition is a quality power/heavy metal album. I’m not sure how Sylvain Rouviere organized this project or if he is going to use different musicians/vocalists on each album, but he is definitely on to something and it will be interesting to see where this project goes as it progresses. Considering how much power metal comes out of Europe and how much of it is merely average, it is nice to find an act that has some catchy hooks and memorable songs and hopefully this is just the beginning.

http://www.metalodic.com

Full Disclosure: Review copy provided by Metalodic Records

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