Sjak : Keyboard player Niclas Olsson always had the ambition to start up a male fronted melodic rock band next to his already existing female fronted melodic rock band Alyson Avenue and that has led to the foundation of Sapphire Eyes. A number of years ago the quite good eponymously entitled debut album was released, which is now then followed by this successor ‘Breath Of Ages’. Probably that the replacement of singer Thomas Bursell was the reason for the long wait for this album, fact is that he is replaced by Urban Tale singer Kimmo Blom on this ‘Breath Of Ages’ record. Personally I wasn’t very impressed by the vocal performance of Bursell on the debut album, but I must honestly admit that also Kimmo Blom isn’t really delivering a world-class performance on this second Sapphire Eyes record and in my opinion that’s somewhat of a missed opportunity.
The song material is characterized by the blanket of keyboards that Niclas Olsson is putting into the songs, over which then the not too heavy guitar riffs are layered. With the exception of the catchy ‘Never Again’ and the compelling ‘One In A Million’ the song material doesn’t really excite me. The tunes as such are quite easy to digest and are definitely not bad, but it’s all a bit too average to really stand out. Next to this Kimmo Blom as mentioned earlier doesn’t really contribute in a very positive way and as a result I can’t do nothing else than categorize this record as mediocre and that’s just not good enough for a musician like Niclas Olsson. The vocal guest contribution of Alyson Avenue (and ex-Nightwish) singer Anette Olzon on ‘I Won’t Leave A Lie’, which is to be found on the album both in a ballad as well as a rock version, is certainly worth mentioning as it definitely belongs to the best songs on offer. Fanatic A.O.R. fans should give this a try, but personally I had expected a lot more from this second Sapphire Eyes record.