Ride the Sky is the latest project from power metal super-drummer Uli Kusch and vocalist Bjorn Jansson (Tears of Anger, ex-Beyond Twilight). Kusch, a former member of power metal groups Helloween, Gamma Ray and Masterplan, hooked up with Jansson in 2006 when he agreed to play drums for the next Tears of Anger album. The two then decided to create a new, full-time band with Bjorn’s brother, Bennie Jansson (Tears of Anger) playing guitar.Rounding out the band’s roster are Mathias Garnas (XsavioR) on bass and Kaspar Dahlqvist (Dionysus) on keyboards. The band has signed with Nuclear Blast and the album will be released in the USA on 9/18/07. I’ll classify this band melodic metal with some AOR, progressive and power metal influences.The songs are fairly diverse and the guys are great musicians. So, Kusch’s last big project was Masterplan. Bjorn and ex-Masterplan vocalist Jorn Lande have similarly sounding powerful voices. It’s only natural that there’ll be comparisons, so here’s my 2 cents. I found the first Masterplan album outstanding, but the follow-ups left something to be desired. Whatever that something was, Kusch took it with him when he left Masterplan and shared it with his new bandmates. Simply put – New Protection rocks!
The album features 12 tracks of solid metal and I’ll highlight some of the tracks. Opening with “New Protection” the band comes out hard and fast and slaps the listener to attention. This track is made for airplay (well, internet radio!). “A Smile from Heaven’s Eye” is upbeat and I love it, but I think they swiped the melody from Avantasia’s “Reach Out for the Light.” Another strange thing about this song is that the solo seems to have some punk influences in it. Different but it’s cool. “Silent War” features some great keys by Dahlqvist.“Prince of Darkness” sounds all evil and scary but there is a nice, oddly melodic interlude dropped in the middle so you forget about the scary title. Bennie Jansson can play a mean yet melodic guitar, and showcases his ability on “Silent War” and “Break the Chain.” Bjorn sounds excellent, especially on “Heaven Only Knows” and “A Crack in the Wall.” Kusch is great on the entire album, but what else would you expect? I wasn’t expecting it when I first read about the band, but this album is going to be a hit with power, progressive and AOR fans. Ride the Sky is going to be a big name, at least for this release, so click the links below and hear it for yourself! Its great music and you need to check it out!
For more info and song clips, go to: www.ridethesky.eu