Lars Eric Mattsson

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About Lars Eric Mattsson

A multi-talented Finnish guitarist, producer, and songwriter, Lars Eric Mattsson was one of the early developers of the neoclassical metal movement. Citing a wide array of influences, including Jimi Hendrix, Ritchie Blackmore, Johnny Winter, and Al DiMeola, Mattson was initially drawn to the bass, but switched to guitar in his early twenties. Discovered in 1985 by Mike Varney (Guitar Player Magazine and Shrapnel Records) in 1985 -- Mattson had already established himself regionally -- he released a four-track EP shortly before inking a deal with French independent label Black Dragon Records, with whom he would go on to issue Eternity (1988), No Surrender (1989), and the instrumental Electric Voodoo (1991). 1992 saw Mattsson join up with Swedish singer Conny Lind, drummer Tony Mattsson, and bass player Michael Ahlskog. Together they formed the group Lars Eric Mattsson's Vision and released an eponymous LP -- the project would yield multiple releases, including Till the End of Time (1997), On the Edge (2004), II:1993 (2017), and Live+ (2017). In 1995, Mattson teamed up with Swedish singer Björn Lodin and formed the one-off, blues-based project Astral Groove, who issued an eponymous debut that same year -- Lodin would provide vocals for Mattson's fourth solo outing, 1998's Obsession. In 2000 he formed the progressive rock outfit Condition Red with keyboardist Derek Sherinian and guitarist Alex Masi and released an eponymous album -- the group would go on to release two more full-length outings, Condition Red 2 (2004) and Illusion of Truth (2016). Another project, Book of Reflections, arrived in 2004, and released an eponymous LP, with Chapter II: Unfold the Future and Relentless Fighter arriving in 2006 and 2012, respectively. Mattson continued to record under his own name -- though sometimes under the mononym Mattson (2000's Another Dimension, 2003's Power Games, 2005's War, 2008's Dream Child, and 2010's Tango) -- releasing a string of virtuosic albums that included Earthbound (2005), Aurora Borealis: Concerto for Orchestra & Electric Guitar (2011), Epicentre (2013), Songs from a Different Room (2015), and Sand and Blood (2017). ~ James Christopher Monger

Åland Islands, Finland

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