01. Rising (5:16)
02. Bounce (4:16)
03. Cold Water Spirit (5:56)
04. Forward Thinking (6:17)
05. Revolutionary Star (4:40)
06. The Heart (3:55)
07. Eternal Cycles (4:19)
08. Clear Skies (4:06)
09. Planetary Strength (3:17)
10. Parisienne Etude (0:55)
11. Midnight Sun (7:43)
12. Starfall (5:26)

Lars Eric Mattsson – Guitar and bass.
The Astral Orchestra.
Eddie Sledgehammer – Drums.

Composed, arranged, recorded and produced by Lars Eric Mattsson between August 2010 and November 2010.
Mixed and mastered by Lars Eric Mattsson at the new Lion’s Cage in November 2010.


Lars Eric Mattsson



Marking Lion Music's 300th release; guitar virtuoso / composer Lars Eric Mattsson returns with the ultimate neo-classical experience in which metal and rock guitar, bass and drums meets classical music for the harmoniously rich ‘Aurora Borealis’.

This new wholly instrumental 12 track release takes a fresh approach to the blend of guitar and orchestra for a musical experience as uplifting as seeing the wonder of the northern lights, from which the album gets its title.

Whilst the combination of orchestra and guitar may have been done before by amongst others one of Mattsson’s influences Uli Jon Roth; ‘Aurora Borealis’ takes the range of sound and expressions further that what has been heard before and places as much emphasis on each tracks backing as with its guitar work. The result is a highly captivating and listenable experience. Lush in textures and timbres, ‘Aurora Borealis’ comes across at times like a film score; sometimes fast and exotic whilst at others sweet and luxurious. Many moods are covered and all of which see Mattsson deliver impassioned guitar work in his own inimitable style.

Mattsson made a big point during the albums compositional stage to deliver an album that could theoretically be performed live within the right setting. To achieve this there is only ever one guitar heard at a time, sometimes playing the lead part but not always. Lars Eric Mattsson comments, “I tried to compose the music with enough variations and the right flow from start to end and keep things listenable by using the right arrangements”.

To ensure his guitar would work as cleanly as possible with the orchestral parts Mattsson kept his signal chain as pure as possible with only the occasional wah pedal between guitar and amp (with some delay and reverb added in post production). The result is a clean sounding release with strong dynamics and a wide tonal palette.

Despite its relative complexity ‘Aurora Borealis’ may well be easier on the listener than some of his previous vocal progressive metal releases such as 2010’s critically acclaimed ‘Mattsson – Tango,’ although Lars concedes with a smile, “It might sound less complex though I am not sure it actually is!”. As a final comment when asked to sum up the new release Mattsson responds, “Classical music and rock has been mixed before with various results but never this way, I tried to create something very unique and I don’t think it’s fair to label this as just another instrumental guitar album”.

‘Aurora Borealis’ sees Lars Eric Mattsson almost halfway through his third decade in the music business with a new release that is testament to his vision and appetite to ever expand his musical horizons and does so in fine style.

‘Aurora Borealis’ sees release on Lion Music on 15th April 2010.

Perhaps one of the more “ordinary” pieces, specially composed as an introduction with the purpose of delivering a high energy positive kick start. This is probably the most straight ahead rock piece of the album.

Heavily influenced by J S Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos this piece’s main theme is performed by the strings and woodwinds only in an interplay where the drums/bass/guitar section respond through a few different themes.  I used the Stratocaster on this song.

Cold Water Spirit:
This song is dedicated to all the people who have drowned in cold water after ship accidents caused by bad weather, war etc. After seeing a film I started thinking about how terrible this must feel and that became the inspiration to this song. On of my favorites for sure, I think there is a certain feel in here that is very special.

Forward Thinking:
A simple pulsating groove and a haunting violin melody that could be done in a million of ways but very easy to get lost in. I did a few different versions of this one including a full metal version before I decided that less was more… I think this piece could fit very well as soundtrack to the right movie.

Revolutionary Star:
This was also done a few times in different versions before I decided on the final arrangement. This is one of the more complicated pieces with some odd meter riffs and some challenging arpeggios that spice up the harmony of main theme which I guess is quite fusion/prog influenced. I used the Valley Arts on this one.

The Heart:
Just some stings, brass, a flute and guitar and a melody I am very proud of. I played the Stratocaster on this one and it was actually the first piece that was completed. I think the title says it all.

Eternal Cycles:
A typical neo-classical piece in the style of my early works (The Exciter etc) with some updated ideas.

Clear Skies:
A simple major key theme in a number of variations spiced up with some two handed tapping I haven’t used in years
. A real trip down memory lane. Here is another example of a piece I reworked a couple of times before deciding that less was more, originally I had intended to use drums and bass all the way from the beginning but I think I found a more varied arrangement this way. This is actually a quite simple piece but that doesn’t make it any less good.

Planetary Strength:
The overture of prog metal meets symphonic rock
This is probably the most challenging pieces of “Aurora Borealis”, most of this is in 7/8 with some elements in 2/4 and 3/4 and includes some interesting harmonies and what I think is a very cool metal guitar riff and some more 2 handed finger tapping and a lot of call and response between various themes.

Parisienne Etude:
Just a solo nylon acoustic guitar piece.

Midnight Sun:
I think this is the piece that I put down the most time with, rearranging changing, moving stuff back and forth: I used the Valley arts on this one and there is quite a lot of 2 handed tapping here too. A lot of different influences have been melted into this piece…

The final piece bringing you the final peace. Just like “The Heart”: no drums, no bass, just the orchestra and my guitar. It feels very pure and simple, I love this one. 

• One of the worlds most respected guitarists returns with his most adventurous musical offering to date.
• Likely to appeal to fans of rock and classical music.
• Reviews in all leading rock/metal press and webzines.
• Lars Eric Mattsson is available for interview. Please contact ‘promo@lionmusic.com’ to arrange your publication/webzines interview.