MTM Music
Produced by: Martin Kronlund

Released: May 22 / Website
Relatives: Rainbow
GENRE: Hard Rock

  1. Not Wanted
  2. To The Max
  3. Alone Again
  4. Look Into My Eyes
  5. Sleeping With The Enemy
  6. Leave This War
  7. In Control
  8. I Believe
  9. Fake
  10. Running
  11. Forbidden Fruit

It pains me to say this, but I am really disappointed with this album. Out of all the albums due this year, I anticipated this one with a lot of enthusiasm, but ultimately feel let down by this release.
Had it been a stand alone release, things might have been different, but given that the debut was one of 2000's best releases and still gets played a lot personally, so expectations were high.
This album fails to match those heights.
Unleashed, which scored a 97 rating, was an answer to all those that were looking for John Norum to return to his best hard rocking work on the Face The Truth album. Every track was a gem.
Guitarist and album producer Martin Kronlund proved himself to be one of the great new hot shot guitarists out of Europe.
This time the band move more towards what many others are already doing - putting out albums closer in style to classic Rainbow and heavy Deep Purple. Not that is a best thing of course, but as I said, in comparison to the debut, this album falls flat.
Not everything is bad news. The opening track Not Wanted is everything I loved about the debut. Brash, in your face, hard blues based rock, with vocalist Mats Levin in fine form, taking control of the song and singing with his trademark snarl. A huge song with a great 'angry' chorus.
But from track 2 things become a little clearer. The intro rocks, the verse features more great Mats, but then the chorus arrives and's short, hook free and basically just terrible.
Alone Again is a little better, with lots of Hammond organ drenching the song. But again, the chorus is over and done in seconds.
The sultry ballad Look Into My Eyes features as good a build up as you could hope for with yet more perfect vocals. But again, it's chorus time and nothing. No hooks, no strong vocal melodies, nothing.
Sleeping With The Enemy is another track that gives glimpses of why the debut was so cool. Good attitude filled hard rock and a chorus that sticks in your memory a little longer.
Leave This War is also pretty cool, featuring some snappy time changes and double kick drums, but there on after, there is little to get excited about.
This album features the same great production as the debut, the same great vocals, the same hard rocking guitar, the same tight rhythm section, but the songs are just not there at all.
It is like the band spent all this time writing songs, but forgot to write any choruses. I can't understand why, as the debut really was a classic record. Maybe all the best songs were used on that record, I don't know, but the ones used here are largely distant cousins to Unleashed.
The band spent too much time trying to be heavier and more in your face, when they should have stuck to what worked on the debut album. With only one ballad and 2 or 3 strong choruses on the entire album, this leaves me wanting more.
And with several other bands now doing the same thing but better, the new Dogface isn't going to feature half as much on my playlist as it could have.
BOTTOM LINE: Disappointing. It still rocks hard, still features a classic singer and guitarist, and still sounds like a million bucks production wise, but after a sensational debut, this set of songs leaves the listener wanting more. Generally the songs just aren't as interesting as they should be. A waste of a great singer.
ESSENTIAL FOR: Fans of the debut and Mats Levin fans.
DISCOGRAPHY:Unleashed . In Control

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