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Jani Liimatainen: My Father's Son
Jani Liimatainen - My Father's Son Album Art

Jani Liimatainen: My Father's Son

Melodic Heavy/Progressive Metal
5.0/5.0

From one guitarist to the next. This week we've seen the release of former Tad Morose guitarist Kenneth Jonnson's new project, Starchaser. In the same week we consider the new solo album from Sonata Arctica founding member and guitarist Jani Liimatainen. The axeman is also known for his work with Cain's Offering, The Dark Element, duo work with Timo Kotipelto, and lead guitar work for death metal band Insomnium. As far as my research could find, My Father's Son is his first solo album.

Jani Liimatainen Click For Larger Image

Jani Liimatainen

The album is a massive recording featuring musical talent from the formidable Scandinavian music scene. Besides Liimatainen handling guitars, keyboards, songwriting, and programming, instrumental guests include such luminaries as bassist Jonas Kuhlberg (One Desire) and drummer Rolf Pilve. Moreover, Liimatainen recruited a host of major vocal talent from the same pond. These include Timo Kotipelto, Renan Zonta, Pekka Heino, and The Dark Element's Anette Olzon. Not to be left out, Liimatainen's voice is featured on Haunted House.

Musically, to be honest, I didn't know what to expect (which is why I never read label one-sheets ahead of listening. Would the album be death metal, progressive metal, melodic metal, or some blend of all things or something completely different? Would it be another solo album where the guitarist merely shows off how skilled his guitar technique is. Nope. In contrast to the aforementioned Starchaser album, where Jonnson essentially revisits Tad Morose, My Father's Son differs in its variety. The songs and songwriting are major difference, which makes for a interesting and satisfying listen.

For things more heavy metal, even power metal, you'll find this with Into The Fray, All Dreams Are Born To Die, or Breathing Divinity. Conversely, What Do You Want dials back to less heavy melodic metal. Other songs like Who Are We and Haunted House have subtle starts with piano, moving with anthemic emotion, only to rise somewhat heavier later. Similar, also in the center of the recording, is Side By Side which offers a delightful twist: a saxophone solo from Janne Huttunen. Lastly, and the last song on the album, if you're a fan of Sonata Arctica, you will enjoy the title cut. My Father's Son is Liimatainen's tale-telling through the medium of melodic progressive metal. It's a fine song.

Most things considered, Liimatainen's solo effort My Father's Son is an exceptional effort with a fine balance of versatile songwriting across several genres. Oh yeah, his guitar work is killer too. Quite recommended.




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The Take Away

Liimatainen's solo effort My Father's Son is an exceptional effort with a fine balance of versatile songwriting across several genres. Oh yeah, his guitar work is killer too. Quite recommended.

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