OUIJABEARD - The Well To Hell

March 28, 2023, a year ago


Mark Gromen

Rating: 6.0

review hard rock heavy metal

OUIJABEARD - The Well To Hell

Third album, albeit the first since 2015 from the cryptic named (look closely at spelling) one-man band, from Sweden. This time around Andreas Sandberg has cloaked the project in cartoon, power metal visuals (like a He-Man rip-off), but the music is a decent blend of ‘80s inspired, commercial hard rock (complete w/ cannonading electronic drums), not too far afield from classic Dokken, but fans of Nestor (and kinds) as well as over-the-top power metal, ala Victorius and/or Twilight Force, might also find something to their liking.

‘80s synth intro, followed by electronic drums aptly paint the setting. Then comes the smooth, slightly high pitched, double tracked vocals on "The Light". A ubiquitous guitar break can be found within each tune. OK, the airy "The Kid" gets a bit too saccharine and follow-up "Back To The Island" continues the restrain/subtle mode. Not really a ballad, but damn close. It fades out to a classical music guitar solo, on an acoustic. "Left Alone" is a return of the hyped up, synth/drum movie soundtrack material. 

More ‘80s-isms (cowbell!) on the strangely entitled "Shadow Of The Cat", even if Sandberg is singing "Man behind the mask.” As on most numbers, the delivery is echoing, in a cave/from afar resonance. "Ignis Imo Foraminis" is the odd man out, an orchestral/choral number delivered entirely in Latin. The title track, possessing a little more bounce than the other throwback tracks, closes the disc. As with several of the others, the ending portion is significantly different from the bulk of the cut. Here, Oujibeard eventually turn full circle, with the original melody fading out.

Not for everyone.

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