1. All My Life
2. Like A River
3. You Are The One
4. Fool For You
5. After The Love Is Gone
6. Save Me
7. Fall From Grace
8. From A Star
9. Dance On The Wire
11. Time To Face The Truth
12. The Best Is Yet To Come
Oliver Hartmann (v, g)
Mario Reck (g)
Armin Donderer (b)
Dario Ciccioni (d)
July 1, 2012
© 2012 Avenue Of Allies Music
(Avenue 12 04 0042)
12 tracks - TT 54:52
release date: June 1, 2012
Question: who’s the link between Aina, At Vance, Avantasia, Edguy, Empty Tremor, Genius, HammerFall, Helloween, Lunatica, Rhapsody and Soul Seller? Answer: the one and only Oliver Hartmann! With “Balance”, he has just released his fourth solo album and the good news is that this effort brings us back to the sound of the debut “Out Of The Cold”, released to great acclaim in 2005. Written and produced by the man himself, the new album offers a wealth of well-balance
d, catchy material for every fan of melodic rock in general and ‘Ollie’ in particular. Highlights are here in abundance. Check out rockers like “You Are The One” and “Fall From Grace” or emotional ballads like “After The Love Is Gone”, “From A Star” and “Time To Face The Truth” and you will be satisfied. The only superfluous track is the cover of Tears For Fear’s “Shout”. And yes … I also have my doubts about the cover artwork, which isn’t attractive at all. But then again: appearances can be deceptive … (CL
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He knows how to make great songs and this is no exception. Great vocals and production by the way.
for me the best one of all his solo albums
solid, well balanced melodic rock
fav tracks : fool for you, all my life
His first two solo albums are great but the rest of them are average at best.
Melodies, great arrangements, a tight musicianship and, most of all, Hartmann's powerfull vocal performances all the above mentioned perfectly balanced in an album that will end up high in this year's Top list. The cd starts perfectly with "All Of My Life". An up-tempo melodic rock anthem that cheers me up every time I listen to it and the chorus line is perfect! "You Are The One" is another highlight from the new album. It has a melody that sticks in your mind from the very first listening and makes you wanna whisper it for days!! Brilliant! "After The Love Is Gone" is a nice ballad while "Dance On The Wire" brings a groovier and a bit 'modern' touch to the album. The track that closes the album, "The Best Is Yet To Come", is another great tune with a stunning harmony and a chorus to die for!!
Overall, this is a brilliant release and an album that you can't have enough of it!! Everything here is almost perfectly balanced and there are some really amazing tracks with great arrangements, powerfull performances and catchy choruses. For the fans of Hartmann's solo works, this is a must have! For the fans of pure melodic rock sound, it is, also, a big must have! Well done!
Oliver HARTMANN and his band are surprisingly excellent thru this outstanding release ,,balance" is by far his best solo album...Very Melodic with huge vocals !!
As i’m a big fan of AT VANCE; I was already an unconditional supporter when Oliver Hartmann was still fronting the German band, with a few great records as “Heart of Steel” and “Dragonchaser”. I was very disappointed by the split. Yet AT VANCE still provide some great music, and Mr. HARTMANN outside of his numerous side-projects, also created something of his own and quite special with his solo career. So we have two for the price of one, a cool deal. I was impressed, I mean very impressed by his live performance with AVANTASIA both in the lead guitar spot, while providing some huge harmonised backing vocals, and most of all filling for Russell Allen’s lead vocals shoes with some impressive dexterity and sheer simplicity.
The HARTMANN records are full of tasty but quite slow paced AOR or even Classic Rock songs, very different from our every day galloping epic Power Metal or Neo-Classic Metal. For the fourth album, it's once again the same case, but I also have to say that the voice of Hartmannis also much more in the forefront and he sounds more powerful than in the previous CDs, much more like his GENIUS or EMPTY TREMORS days. Anyway, the third album was disappointing, I’ll dare to say that this "Balance" is his best solo album. The title fits quite well with the musical concept. Indeed well balanced. The band HARTMANN plays like a real band, and the chemistry-team here isn’t fake, the sincerity is obvious and pretty clear as the sound of this album is organic and spontaneous. The production and the mix are in the same juicy manner with a full spectrum, thanks to Sascha Paeth’s magic.
The TEARS FOR FEARS cover "Shout", is one of the highlights of the album, with good rendition of the original version but in a darker colour filter & in a heavier mood. Nevertheless the Oliver Hartmann's followers know that, this song was already covered in the early AT VANCE Days, and it was featured in the Japanese & South America edition of “No Escape” in 1999. Of course, the result is different but still highly zestful & jubilant. The very 'Zen' and confined ambiance of numbers like “From a Star” or “Fall From Grace” is opposed to some more hot rocking tracks but still with a feeling of maturity and an absolute melodic control sensation.
Best tracks are "Like A River", "Fool for You", "After the Love Has Gone" or "Save Me". Others great songs: "You Are the One", "The Best Is Yet To Come" or "All My Life" that are more direct but still entertaining. Only a weak moment in my humble opinion, I don't get the point of the intro lick for the song "Dance on the Wire": An unnecessary tribute to "Sweet Home Alabama".
The word AOR could divert some, but here I mean Adult Oriented Rock with a big A, “no cheesy chorus with cheap bontempi Pompus keyboards in a calibrated 3 minutes track” but a real Classic Melodic Hard Rock in the best way of the word, with some slight euh…, let's say Modern ok, .....not Modern.....
But with a contemporary touch.
(originally written for www.metal-temple.com)
Very promising three first tracks and then a major disaster!!! A same...
sorry guys, never really like his solo stuff....great musician and singer thou
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