Elmo has recently released a brand new album, “Back Where We Belong”, a follow-up to his 2015 release, “Where We Belong”.
Like the previous album, this one certainly demonstrates Elmo’s unique versatility, as the entire effort consists of acoustic guitar instrumentals. If you’ve never heard either of these albums, you’d be amazed it’s the same guy who’s released so many monster metal songs, both solo and with his previous band, “Seagrave”.
I absolutely adore Elmo’s acoustic playing, it’s probably the best I’ve ever heard. On “Back Where We Belong”, the composition, performance, mixing and mastering are all phenomenal. It was produced, recorded and mixed by Christer Karjalainen and mastered by Sasa Opacic, two of the very best Engineers in the business, who I’m proud to call my friends.
A word from Elmo himself about “Back Where We Belong” …
Shredding is cool, and while I marvel at Elmo’s talent in that, some people may feel it lacks “soul” or “feeling”. That certainly isn’t a shot at Elmo in any way, I’m talking about shredding electric guitar in general. Of course, a ton of folks totally love Elmo’s music when he’s in that mode (including me), and deservedly so, because he’s most definitely a virtuoso of the highest caliber… A complete master of his instrument. Music is undoubtedly one of the most subjective things in life, so listen to whatever trips your trigger!
However, some of his electric guitar compositions do tend to drift away to a mellower style from time to time…
A wonderful example of this is a song called “Blue Eyes” from his album “Age of Heroes”, which is a ballad dedicated to his significant other. The bridges in this tune literally make the hair on the back of my neck stand up (the first being about 01:05 into this video), and it’s my very favorite song by the man. Believe me, it ranks right up there with some of the most soulful lead guitar you’re ever likely to hear:
But, the music of “Back Where We Belong” couldn’t be further removed from shredding, or any other style of electric guitar playing, for that matter.
Unlike his first acoustic album, I can’t even pick a favorite song! The whole thing just seems to flow together so seamlessly, like one huge, mellow tune, and one I just can’t seem to stop listening to. I’m really so blown away by the way he put this together… What a great listen, especially for just kicking back and relaxing with your significant other.
Click here to check out a sample song, entitled “A Dream”.
You can purchase the complete album at that URL, in either digital or CD format. All of his other albums are also available there, as well as on his personal web site (along with a lot of other goodies).
Because Elmo is a complete nonpareil in his home country of Finland and elsewhere in Europe, how he isn’t signed to a major record label continues to befuddle me. Hell, he even got invited to jam on-stage with Steve Vai!
It’s one of those questions that wake you up at 3am, like why they put braille on drive-thru ATM keypads.
Once again, awesome job as always, Elmo. You never cease to amaze me, my great Amigo!