Talisman – Deluxe Reissues Part 2

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By Brian McGowan

  • Talisman
  • Genesis
  • Humanimal
  • Live In Japan

In 1993, due to their burgeoning popularity, the band were invited to Japan to play some gigs. They took their own sound engineer, and recorded their Kawasaki concert. The result was released that year, titled “5 Out of 5 (Live In Japan)”. Jacob chose that title as he believed no critic would award a high rating. Don’t know why he should have thought that way… the music coasts along on a lot of high energy, a lot of gleaming production – it’s been recently remastered – and a lot of big choruses. The throaty roar of audience participation is almost palpable, and the band suck up the energy and feed it back in a blaze of muscular, melodic hard rock, hurtling headfirst into all the better stuff from the first 2 albums. 2 bonus tracks have been added to the original release – a Jacob bass solo and a truncated version of Malmsteen’s ‘I Am A Viking’… both largely redundant, but they add some unexpected colour and humour.

The third studio album, recorded in 22 days, ‘Humanimal’ was released in 1994. The original idea was for a double album (they’d recorded more than 20 tracks), but in the event, a single album with all the “best stuff” was released. Since then, all the tracks have been recompiled and re-released over 2 Cds – ‘Humanimal, parts 1 and 2”. This deluxe release selects from both to produce a cleverly sequenced, remastered and restored 17 track melodic rock blast that makes you wonder just why this style of music died a death.

If ‘Genesis’ showed a maturing sound, then ‘Humanimal’ shows the band at the height of their artistic powers. It’s a rich, invigorating and ambitious affair on which the band display their technical mastery of the genre as well as a flair for a memorable melody and a heartstopping hook. More importantly perhaps, they show their grasp to be the equal of their reach.

Such is their confidence and skill, the band now delight in combining rock, funk and metal, matching raw and refined elements of both, making for a friction that keeps the soundscapes energised and ever-changing. ‘All & All’ and ’Seasons’ are cool, ambitious stabs at urban funk and soul, with Borger, Akesson and Jacob locking into a powerful groove, while Soto, especially on the latter, emotes gracefully in a particularly elegant, unhurried manner.‘Animal Ritual’ and ’Colour My XTC’ are crisscrossed with funk laced rock riffs, aping the Dan Reed Network 6 years previously, where huge pop hooks surface at unexpected moments.

Elsewhere Soto wails over tracks like ‘Hypocrite’ and ‘Lonely World‘, cuts that are fearsomely overloaded with brutal riffs and armour piercing rhythms, in a thrilling combination of provocative risk-taking and commercial nous.

Unarguably, ‘Humanimal’ was a genuine magnum opus, well worth seeking out. Hopefully the ensuing albums will get the same deluxe treatment.

Live In Japan : 6 out of 10
Humanimal : 9.5 out of 10

Try: www.talismanmusic.se

Tracklists:Talisman Humanimal deluxe

Live In Japan:
1. Mysterious (This Time it’s serious)
2. Standin’ On Fire
3. Comin’ Home
4. If You Would Only Be My Friend
5. I’ll Be Waiting
6. Time After Time
7. All I Want
8. Dangerous
9. U Done Me Wrong
10. Break Your Chains
11. Bass + Guitar Solo
12. All Or Nothing
13. I Am A Viking
14. Just Between Us

Humanimal:
1. Humanimal
2. Fabricated War
3. D.O.A.P.S.
4. All + All
5. Seasons
6. Animal Ritual
7. Hypocrite
8. Colour My XTC
9. Since You’ve Gone
10. TV Reality
11. Blissfull Garden
12. Lonely World
13.Tainted Pages
14. You Cannot Escape The Revelation Of The Identical By Seeking Refuge In The Illusion Of The Multiple
15. My Best Friends Girl
16. Dear God
17. Delusions Of Grandeur