Hannover guitarist and songwriter Lars Totzke has released his first solo project album Look Inside, under the name of Black 7. Look Inside is a purely instrumental album with a total of 14 tracks, all of which include the guitar as the leading instrument. This album is a musical journey rooted in the ’80s and ’90s of rock and metal electric guitars. Black 7 took inspiration from heavy musicians such as Iron Maiden, Slipknot, Black Sabbath, Sevendust and more, but also orchestral and softer tones. Though Totzke has not been musically active since 2005, he was able to write and produce 14 tracks of pure musical language.
Look Inside kicks off with a full-throttle raging guitar in “Unleashed.” The three-minute track is a powerful wave of thunderous guitar riffs and smashing drums. The track sets a high bar for the rest of the album as its climactic smoking guitar enchants listeners, opening the door to an adventurous musical realm. “Lift Up” takes things back to an ’80s soft rock era full of emotion. Passion radiates through the slow guitar melody accompanied by soft percussions. Things start to intensify mid-track as it transitions to harder rock sounds. It wouldn’t be much of a surprise if this track ended up in a heroic hero movie soundtrack.
“Discover” adds a bit of zest with its Mediterranean sounds and is the only track from the entire album with vocals. The album quickly turns to heavy metal sounds in “Never Stop,” which includes a very catchy rhythm. This is one of the tracks that pulled inspiration from Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath.
Black 7 features the most graceful interchanges between leading instruments throughout the album, but specifically in tracks such as “Look Inside” and “Out of the Box.” The title track, “Look Inside,” lures people into the symphony with the somber violin, quickly turning into a sorrowful acoustic guitar which is then beautifully overtaken by a soulful electric guitar. “Out of the Box” begins with a music box lullaby and smoothly transitions into a stronger acoustic sound and very quickly into an electrifying guitar that blasts a wave of sensations.
Lars Totzke, or Black 7, is a storyteller without words as he has composed an insanely magnificent project in which each instrument narrates a certain story and emotion. Every track on Look Inside is thoughtfully played out and radiates immense passion. Not only is Look Inside perfect for those that are fond of guitar solos and ’80s rock and roll, but it is perfect for those willing to embark on a musical journey.