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Elias Viljanen


Spinefarm Records / Soulfood


How often have you encountered an instrumental guitar album you’d want to hear in its entirety, hm? Yeah, that’s what I thought too. But let me introduce the first one you’ll voluntarily listen to over and over again.

With his third solo outing, “Fire-Hearted”, Sonata Arctica’s guitar whiz, The Finnish Flash, Elias Viljanen has written a diverse, thoroughly enjoyable metal album. “Fire-Hearted” proves that E.Vil’s chops are on par with the best of them, but it’s his melodic sense that is better than all the rest of them. Not much of a speaking man, Viljanen lets his guitar do the talking and oh boy, does it ever deliver. E.Vil’s classy guitar speaks the language of the heart flawlessly. “Fire-Hearted” paints a rainbow of human emotions from the bubbly giddiness of title track to touchingly pensive and fragile “My Guiding Light”, every song on the album, down to the closer, “Beautiful Piece”, lauds life.

Not one to do it all by himself either, but with a little help from his friends, Elias’s “Fire-Hearted” also features the talents of Nightwish/Tarot throat God, Marco Hietala (in the song “Last Breath of Love”) and another Northern King, Sonata Arctica’s Tony Kakko (singing “Kiss Of Rain”), along with another Elias’s bandmate, keyboarder Henrik Klingenberg, Apocalyptica drummer Mikko Siren and Evergrey's bass virtuoso Jari Kainulainen.

Having started his way toward the Pantheon of guitar gods in his pre-teens Elias Viljanen has already seen his share of shredders and subpar songwriting. Done some of it too. But today, celebrating the four years since his previous solo album and with songs like this, it's more than obvious that E.Vil knows proving too much proves nothing. In the self-indulged world of guitar hero wannabes releasing a masturbatory shred fest after another, The Leadstar shines brighter than ever.

E.Vil has no boundaries.


01. Fire-Hearted
02. Last Breath of Love
03. Cruel Groove
04. Kiss of Rain
05. Head up High
06. Up to Speed
07. Supernatural
08. One Tonight
09. The Triumph
10. My Guiding Light
11. Showstopper
12. Beautiful Piece


Elias Viljanen - guitars
Jari Kainulainen - bass
Henrik Klingenberg - keyboards
Mikko Siren - drums
Marco Hietala - vocals
Tony Kakko - vocals
Tomi Ylönen - drums
Jaan Wessmann - fretless bass


Fire-Hearted 2009
The Leadstar 2005
Taking The Lead 2002

the hard side of life
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