After three “Impera” albums Johan Kihlberg wanted to continue and this resulted in his first solo album.
As a drummer / keyboard player he has limited himself with a solid core of musicians like guitarist Lars Chriss (Lion’s Share) and Impera band member bassist Mats Vassfjord (220 Volts).
For the rest of the album he used guest musicians.
Together with Lars he started to write songs and worked out all the ideas. For the lyrics he consulted singer Mick Devine (Seven).
Together with Mick, he already recorded a few albums in recent years. After writing the songs they then selected some singers who would match those songs.
Guitarist Lars Chriss also provided the great production work. The cover artwork is from Carl-André Beckston.
After the beautiful intro with Kay Backlund (Lion’s Share) on keyboards the album starts with…
“That’s The Way That Life Goes” with guest singer Nils Patrik Johansson (Lion’s Share, Astral Doors) who has a powerful metal voice and therefore this slow song sounds heavier than lead.
The song gains some tempo towards the end.
A lot more layback is the song “Fear”, although the title would suspect otherwise. A nice theatrical intro brings us to a catchy melody.
The refreshing voice of Mick Devine (Seven) suits nicely with the heavier vocals of Nils Patrik Johansson.
Kay Backlund (Lion’s Share) brings the same theatrical instrumental piece on his keyboards in the middle of the song, it’s almost like film music with a climax.
“Falling” is a more emotional song , a slower song that gets its strength through a heavy riff. Guest singer Michael J. Scott is responsible for catapulting this track into one of my favorites.
Mick Devine returns on “The End Of The Road” and is here supported by Nigel Bailey (Bailey) on backing vocals. This midtempo AOR song is characterized by strong vocals and great guitar skills.
“Just A Conversation” is such a positive sounding and catchy rocker where the keyboard contribution of Kay Backlund (Lion’s Share) ,
and the vocals of Göran Edman (Yngwie Malmsteen, John Norum) are a big part.
“The Right Stuff” is a midtempo rocker where again there’s a combination of singer Nigel Bailey and backing up Mick Devine .
The guitars are as always very exquisite but the solo in “Why Does She Care” can be called more than impressive.
Add to that Michael Sadler (Saga) as the voice and Anders Rybank (Coastland Ride) on keyboards and you will understand that also this song is one my favorites.
Mattias Eklundh (Freak Kitchen) even succeeds in surpassing the guitar violence in “I Am I”.
I can’t get rid of the idea, but every time I hear the last song “It’s A Revolution”, I think of Kiss. Nigel Bailey sounds on some moments a bit like Paul Stanley ,
and the guitar work could easily be on some 80’s Kiss album.
Expect almost three-quarters of an hour of strong melodic rock for this album. It remains a fascinating and surprising album because of the large variation, both in music and the guest artists.
Like his previous albums there are no real classics here but there are also no fillers or bad songs.
The rock content remains nicely distributed. Johan Kihlberg grew up with bands like Kiss and Queen and you can easily hear these influences.
It has become a perfect musical album that will appeal to a wide audience through its accessible character !
Here’s one of those great tracks !
02. That´s The Way That Life Goes
05. The End Of The Road
06. Just A Conversation
07. The Right Stuff
08. Why Does She Care
09. I Am I
10. It´s A Revolution