Notwithstanding his over 40 years in the music business, Dan Wande aka DW is an artist that continues to grow in stature and confidence. Based in Piteå, Sweden, DW is a well-navigated vocalist, musician and producer who works with a group of international musicians to bring his creations to life. His core collaborators include Mark Brown on keyboards, Marcin Palider on Bass, and Giacomo Pasquali on guitar, who is now joined by additional guitarist Adam Ward, drummer Fabio Alessandrini, and backing vocalists Ulrica Backman and Eugenio Paludi. Musically and sonically they have pushed themselves to new heights and it is clear a lot of thought has gone into each release DW has dropped so far.
The most recent step in this project’s evolution, while DW works furiously on his full length album, is the EP “Kissed By An Angel”. Reverberating with an impressively rich and heavy sound, and twisting together dark and thick strands of hard rock, heavy metal, and even classic rock, this is the kind of recording that might just sweep you off your feet, even if you were prepared to resist. It’s decked out with every piece of gritty, flashy, and shiny metal goodness imaginable. It is a beast of a record – ambitious and magisterial.
The EP starts off in grand style with the majestically dark opener, and title track, “Kissed By An Angel”, one of my favorite DW tunes. Rumbling and rocking with crushing riffs, powerful vocals, and a thunderous beat. The entire band makes its entrance with a real heavy metal flourish.
DW and his cohorts are at their very best when they pour it on thick and lavish. And that is exactly what they do here, as they proceed to lay down a bombastic, devilishly wicked groove that is so deep and heavy that you don’t want to let it go.
“Endless Void” is a track that wears its multitude of influences on its sleeve, and will bring to mind those other epic bands as you listen to it, but the music is more than just a simple sum of those parts. In the end, this is a skillfully crafted piece of work.
The band pump every ounce of power and ominous, heavy rock texture they possess into it. Sounding like DW is out to prove himself as a serious contender in the current scene; aiming at times for a classic rock and metal sound, yet always showing his aptitude for versatility.
In short, DW has set out to achieve some pretty lofty goals with this record, while he continues to work on his full length album, mixed and mastered in Gothenborg by Cristoffer Borg/Far Beyond Productions. The songs are meticulously thought-out, and the drums, bass and lead guitars especially, maintain a high standard of musicianship.
The record is technical at times without being flashy or standoffish, it’s crushingly powerful without being overbearing, and it takes interesting turns without throwing DW’s back catalogue out of the window.
This record has me seriously excited for DW’s future. He has now secured a sure footing all around – inspired performances, memorable songs, and a musical and personal maturity that makes everything he touches seem genuine.
The current hard rock and metal scene desperately needs a wave of classic songwriters and performers to inject some authenticity into the industry. DW is an artist that celebrates and amplifies all that’s glorious about the real rock world, and he is ready to give the young guns a run for their money!