Lars Eric Mattsson

Some shreddings and influences of Progressive Rock and AOR are mixed on Lars' new solo album.
November 2, 2023

The more a musician is known, the more his (hers) career is long, more is asked by fans, press members and others of them. But everyone must take a stand and understand that music is something created by men and women, so the level can become not as good as fans can expect. A long career means to commit mistakes and learn with them, but one must pay respect to the older musicians, because things aren’t easy. And to have an album as “Evolution” in hands in a time when things are mechanical, or full of abusive technical approach, it is really a very good experience. Thanks, Lars Eric Mattsson! The words above states clean that this is the 17th solo album of Lars (a known guitarist from Finland, discovered by Mike Varney, the legendary writer of Guitar Player Magazine and owner of Shrapnel Records), who is known for his contributions to Hard Rock and Neoclassical acts, and for his solo career.

On “Evolution” the main musical format shown is a classic form of Hard Rock with influences of AOR and some Progressive Rock traits as well, something that’s really excellent to hear, and with a wonderful feature: even being a refined guitarist, the album isn’t focused on an exhibition of neoclassical shreds on the guitars (even with some technical moments), but of very good songs that work as a unity. What these words means: anyone can hear and become in love with the songs of “Evolution”. Lars himself produced the album, creating a sonority that searches for something organic and old fashioned in some ways, but a level of sound definition that allows the hearers to understand what’s being expressed. Of course things could be better in some points, but’s not bad at all.

Maybe the uncompromised feeling of the songs of “Evolution” is linked to a musician that just wants to express his ideas, and not on something aiming for commercial success. The best ones for dealing with the album for a first time are “Fighting the Good Fight” (a very good Hard Rock song with intense keyboards and bass guitar parts, and what lovely melodies), “Lies” (what lovely set of melodies that brings the 80s atmosphere to the hearers, with a touch of musical accessibility), “Sail On” (a heavier song with clean Oriental touches on the arrangements, and with excellent keyboards parts), “Stand Up” (this one brings some tribal drumming parts that enriches the song, along with a fine bass playing and great guitars), “We Are One” (what lovely melodies again), “Where Are You?” (a tender and deep ballad with charming arrangements on the guitars and keyboards, and where the vocals are laid in a very good way), and “Luciana” (another excellent accessible song). But it’s good from the beginning to its end, so enjoy.

As mentioned above, “Evolution” is an honest album, and shows that the only compromise of Lars Eric Mattsson is with his own feelings, and it gave us a very good piece of pure joy.

9 / 10

Almost Perfect








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"Evolution" Track-listing:
  1. Fighting the Good Fight
  2. Lies
  3. Sail On
  4. Somewhere
  5. Stand Up
  6. We Are One
  7. Still Alone
  8. Where Are You?
  9. Knockin’ Me off My Feet
  10. Luciana
  11. Still in My Dreams
  12. Down this Path
Lars Eric Mattsson Lineup:

Lars Eric Mattsson - Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, Vocals
Andy Falconetti - Drums

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