Ola Englund - Master Of The Universe Review

Album Review: Ola Englund – Master Of The Universe

Ola Englund is a huge YouTube star, plays in The Haunted and Feared, runs Solar guitars and is a family man. How he found the time to record his first solo album is a mystery but with the release of Master Of The Universe, he has put together an early contender for album of the year.

Master Of The Universe

I’ll let you into a little secret. I’m not really a fan of instrumental guitar albums. Guitar solos are great but I don’t need to listen to an album where every track is just an extended shred solo.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when Ola Englund announced he was going to release a solo album. His YouTube content is great and his playing in The Haunted and Feared is always fantastic. But would he feel the pressure to compete with many well-known guitarists who make solo albums to show us how impressive their lead playing is? Luckily for us, Ola is smarter than that. Instead, we have a collection of tracks which show us what a well-rounded composer and musician he is.

Pizza Hawaii opens the albums in such a positive and happy sounding way, it might be a shock to anyone who expected to hear nothing but the brutal chugging of The Haunted. In many ways, it’s the perfect way to start an album like this because it immediately clears away any preconceptions. It’s a 5-minute journey which not only showcases Ola’s technical abilities when it comes to lead guitar, it also shows his strong sense of melody and his ability to make a track flow through different sections as it builds, drops, then builds again to the huge sounding closing section.

With Cerberus, we are treated to the massive riffs we were all expecting. In the first minute alone we get two absolute piledrivers to remind us how great Ola is at coming up with catchy riffs. When the lead guitar does eventually make an appearance we’re shown again how Ola likes to put melody before flashiness. Instead, he uses speed almost as a texture than to try to impress anyone. He undoubtedly has the chops but he’s confident enough to not show off for the sake of it.

By the time we get to the third track, we’ve already been on quite a journey. Well, hold on tight because Solar, Pt. 1 is a twelve-minute epic which will take you even further. Sad sounding pianos, softly strummed acoustic guitars, uplifting lead guitars over choir Ahhhhs, slap bass and some blistering lead guitar to end with. Ola Englund has thrown everything into this track and it works incredibly well. If you think he’s just a funny guy on YouTube who plays chuggy riffs and likes to burp then listen to this track and it will soon change your mind. You don’t just put something like this together by luck. This has been built by an incredible composer who will now be seen for the talent he really is.

That Youtube Song brings back the heavy riffs and gives us a more simple track to digest while we recover from Solar, Pt. 1. Taken on its own, it has plenty of ups and downs but it’s definitely a more straightforward track.

Solar, Pt.2 is likely to be the biggest shock to many Ola Enlund fans. Sure, it starts with those big rhythm guitars and soaring leads, but then….. What’s this? It’s gone all jazzy! And is that a saxophone? Not many metal musicians would have the balls to try something like this, let alone the ability to pull it off. Yes, Ola enlisted the help of a saxophonist and took us in a direction nobody could have expected. And it’s beautiful! There are definite hints of Pink Floyd, and not just because of the prog elements. Ola’s playing is reminiscent of David Gilmour at times during this track. I have no idea if he’s an influence or not, and it’s not something I’ve heard before in Ola’s playing. It sounds fantastic though.

Slutet på Skivan closes the album by bringing together many of the elements found in previous tracks. It’s another beautiful piece of music which ends the journey in the perfect way.

You don’t just put an album like this together by luck. This has been built by an incredible composer who will now be seen for the talent he really is. Let’s be honest, we already knew Ola could play, but the compositional skills on show throughout Master Of The Universe make you wonder where his music career would take him if he suddenly decided to leave everything else behind and become a full-time solo musician. Hopefully, he will find the time to write many solo albums because the world needs to hear more incredible music like this!

Rating 10/10

Guitar Noodle Top Pick






Ola Englund Official Links

Website – https://olaenglund.com

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfWdGyZaZODBPQc9Lu0y6aw

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/olaenglund/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/olaenglund/

Solar Guitars – https://www.solar-guitars.com

Ola Englund - Master Of The Universe