Nils Patrik Johanssons (Lion’s Share, Astral Doors, ex. Civil War, ex. Space Odyssey, ex. Wuthering Heights) has done a lot of reasearch during the years about the murder of the former prime minister of Sweden Olof Palme that took place back in 1986 and decided to make an album about it. He is bringing some of his friends from Lion’s Share (Lars Chriss, Kay Backlund and Andy Loos) along in this project. I think this one of the most exciting topics of an album ever since the murder of Palme is one of the biggest mysteries in the history of Sweden. This album was also released on the same date, February 28th.
The opening track “The Agitator” is an introduction of Palme. It’s a straight forward heavy metal song in a darker vein. The refrain and the solo contain some melodies from “L’Internationale” which is obviously intentionally. It fits perfectly actually since this song has been a “Left Wing anthem” for ages. The next song “One Night at the Cinema” refers to the night when the murder took place. This is a faster track with a great verse and quite good chorus. Good and interesting start of the album but the most exciting tracks are coming up.
“The Baseball league” is a heavier march song and it’s about policemen and also “right-wing extremists” who was terrorizing the streets of Stockholm back then. “Freakshow Superstar” describes the next person well. He was very famous in Sweden and the main suspect for ages and even today some people belives he did it. This is my favoutite track on the album, great melodies here! “Prime Evil” is about a south african suspect. It’s darker and more of a “Black Sabbath”-song which gives the song the right feeling. “Killer Without A Gun” is a very cool track with a sing along chorus. This song reflects another swedish suspect who was working close to the scene of the crime.
I was hoping for a big ending here but we get two quite mediocre songs, the title track and “This Much Be the Solution” but overall this is a very good album. Nils sounds good as always and the album is very variated.
Let’s hope that the next album with these guys is under the name of “Lion’s Share”, it has now been 11 years since “Dark Hours” was released.
Artist: Nils Patrik Johansson
Title: The Great Conspiracy
Label: Metalville Records
Date of release: 28/2 -2020
Stand out tracks: “Freakshow Superstar” and “Prime Evil”