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Nils Patrik Johansson: The Great Conspiracy
Nils Patrik Johansson - The Great Conspiracy Art Work

Nils Patrik Johansson: The Great ...

Heavy Power Metal
4.0/5.0

When vocalist Nils Patrik Johansson is not fronting his other bands, Astral Doors and Lion's Share, he finds time to record a solo album. In 2018 he dropped his first one, Evil Deluxe, to some acclaim. Now Johansson returns with The Great Conspiracy, something of an investigative album into the unsolved murder of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme in 1986. The vocalist has been exploring the PM's death since 2016, assisted by Dan Horning from the Palmemordet podcast, which also explores the murder. Johansson's The Great Conspiracy arrives on the 24th anniversary of Palme's death.

Nils Patrik Johansson - Click For Larger Image

Nils Patrik Johansson

Musically, neither Johansson nor the album is traversing new ground. Fans familiar with Astral Doors will recognize Johansson's consistent allegiance to melodic heavy power metal. You'll hear lots of gallop and groove, and an abundance of impressive guitar solos. Unfortunately, the record label did not supply the press with the personnel involved in the recording. Additionally, longtime fans will also expect to hear Johansson's nail-gargling, whiskey-soaked vocals which range from raspy to sometimes mellow and smooth, then from screamo to wondering whether the fellow can sing at all. Some find his voice and vocal style an acquired taste. You kinda get used to it in time. What is missing in all this is a lyric sheet, which was also not supplied by the record label in my electronic press kit. Considering the subject, a murder investigation of a prominent politician, I would have liked to have read along with the songs. No such luck. Hopefull, you'll find the lyrics in the CD booklet.

Speaking to a few songs, you'll hear the rush of power metal at the start with The Agitator, yet also One Night At The Cinema, and March Of The Tin Foil Hats. More heavy steady metal, yet with moments of gallop, arrives with Prime Evil and This Must Be The Solution. Alternatively, Johansson gets his rock groove on with bouncy Freakshow Superstar and the speedy Killer Without A Gun. For the title cut, you get some fine church organ before leaping into some melodic power metal. All said, with The Great Conspiracy, veteran vocalist Nils Patrik Johansson delivers another fine solo project, brimming with his trademark heavy power metal while exploring an unsolved capital murder. Recommended.


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The Bottom Line

With The Great Conspiracy, veteran vocalist Nils Patrik Johansson delivers another fine solo project, brimming with his trademark heavy power metal while exploring an unsolved capital murder. Recommended.

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