Anvision - Love & Hate

(CD 2020, 43:55, Empire18 DG003)

The tracks:
  1- Love & Hate(6:11)
  2- Reviver(5:08)
  3- Homeless Heart(5:39)
  4- Lovely Day to Die(4:00)
  5- Riders from Hell(6:05)
  6- Rules for Fools(6:05)
  7- Chasing the Light(6:30)
  8- Good Night(4:01)

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It has been a while since I reviewed Polish progressive metal band Anvision's album; AstralPhase (see review) in 2012. Over the years that passed, another album was released in 2016, also the band's line-up has gone through some changes. Vocalist Marek "Marqus" Ostrowski, guitar player Grzegorz "Greg" Ziółek and drummer Marcin "Larz" Duchnik remained; new are bass player and occasional growler Karol "Karaluz" Wadowski and keyboard/synth player Waldemar "Valdi" Różańskii. For the record, Robert Michowicz adds a guitar solo and Paulina Ostrowska sings the female vocal parts on the final track of Love & Hate.

The album kick in with Love & Hate; a powerful composition with some minor, but defining growls. Nicely down tuned guitar sounds and rolling drums. The fine contrast comes from Valdi's keyboards and piano parts. Marqus' vocals are adequate and sufficient, without really standing out, but its Greg's guitar that defines this track. Reviver continues the album, a smoother piano driven track, where the raspy vocals work nicely with the melodic piano parts and Robert's guitar solo. As the previous song, Homeless Heart is a mid-tempo rocker, combining classic rock elements with orchestrated synth parts and again a wonderful guitar solo to top off the track. Threatening guitar parts dominate Lovely Day To Die. These elements, together with a strong bass and dedicated drum parts, this track is my personal favourite on the album; Riders From Hell. A track that has great drumming, fantastic guitars and a memorable midsection, which includes a powerful synth solo. However, the vocals turn out to be the weakest link on the song. During Rules For Fools some of these vocal parts perfectly fit the track and the raspy nastiness of the vocal parts do suit this song better than during the previous composition. Chasing The Light is a kind of epic track, including fine piano parts, which contrast with a great bass. Mood and tempo changes make this one of the most interesting contributions to the album. The album's final track Good Night sees the duo vocal parts of Paulina and Marqus. Regretfully I don't see the point of releasing this song. I love the guitar solo, but overall this is a very mediocre song adding nothing to an interesting album.

Overall, Love & Hate turns out to be an interesting album, mainly because of the crafted musicians and specificly, it is Greg's guitar parts that make the album worthwhile checking out. Forget about the final track and you end up with a decent album.

***+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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