"Live in Space" (Despotz; 2018)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

QFT's "Live in Space" had everything going for it as far as I was concerned. First, there's the breath-taking album cover, so beautiful and vibrant that it immediately became part of the background collection on my PC. Then there's the music, which is a varying combination of hard rock, space rock and progressive that blends together to create a unique, QFT sound. Then there's the lyrical theme: songs about space and time, which spoke directly to my sci-fi nerdiness.

And then there's the vocals of Linnéa Vikström, and everything gets bumped up yet another notch. Linnéa (whom you might remember from her work with Therion) is an amazing vocalist with a stunning voice voice can be ethereal when required but, when she belts it out, man, she belts it out! You need look no further than the first track, "End of the Unvierse," for evidence of this. Linnéa starts out slow and steady and then builds to a powerful crescendo in this Black Sabbath-esque pounder. Linnéa's one of those vocalists who puts everything into her performance and you can't help but be drawn into her work with her.

By the way, not all of the songs here are Black Sabbath wannabes. In fact, "End of the Universe" is probably the heaviest track on the album, although most of the tracks are hard rock crunchers. Things do slow down on tracks like "QFT," "Time" and Joga (a Bjork cover) but even on those tracks (or perhaps especially on those tracks) Linnéa's vocals shine bright.

There are a couple of ignorable issues here. 1) Despite the album's title, "Live in Space" is not a live record. In fact, during the song, Linnéa  pronounces the word both ways, with the long vowel sound and the short vowel sound. I know there are people out there who don't like live recordings and I'm afraid that may steer some away but this is a studio recording. 2) Due to the nature of some of the lyrics, "Live in Space" sometimes seems a tiny bit cheesy, like the 100,000th time you've listened to Europe's "The Final Coundown." There's nothing at all wrong with songs like "Big Bang," especially when considering the album's space theme, but when Linnéa belts out "Big Bang!" at the beginning of the track and as its chorus, you can't help but roll your eyes just a little bit.

Those are extremely minor issues, however. The bottom line is that QFT's "Live in Space" was way better than I expected it to be and, in fact, is the exact type of record that not only satisfies, but leaves you wanting more.

For more information, check out https://www.facebook.com/QFT.band/.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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