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CD review W.E.T. "Earthrage"

Veröffentlicht am 17. März 2018 von Markus W. in W.E.T., Soto, Eclipse, News, CD Review, Hardrock, Melodic Rock, Rock, AOR, Frontiers Music

CD review W.E.T. "Earthrage"

(8/10) W.E.T. doesn’t belong to the bands that flood the scene with releases. The debut, simply entitled “W.E.T.” was published in 2009 and it was “Rise Up” that marked the second delivery of this mainly Swedish rock outfit.

Five long years after having had the sophomore album in the record stores it’s “Earthrage” that brings some new W.E.T. songs up to surface. The fact that the waiting time was that long is mainly due to other obligations the band members do have in their list two. W.E.T. musicians are no newcomers. The band is built around Robert Saell, Erik Martensson and no less than Jeff Scott Soto. The line-up for this album is completed by guitarist Magnus Henriksson and drummer Robban Baeck and it’s these five guys that together created another vibrant rock record that features 11 melodic hymns.

Melodic (hard) rock includes the risk of becoming easily too sugar sweet and too much of a trivial concatenation of clichés. The beauty with W.E.T. is the musical savvy and experience of each of the musicians which makes W.E.T. avoiding all the mentioned risks.

Even though being very catchy and equipped with excellent melodies, each of the eleven songs has enough of a punch. OK, there are tunes like “Heart on the Line”, a ballad that has the potential to move you to tears. These kind of songs must be on an album like this, but I appreciate the effort of W.E.T. to also add some 'harder' songs to the tracklist. “Burn” is such a crispy rocking song, “Kings on Thunder Road” is another one and also moderately paced “The Burning Pain of Love” belongs to the down-to-earth moments on this well-done longplayer.

W.E.T. didn’t envision such a success when they started back in 2008. What was meant to be an outfit that reaches fans of Work Of Art, Eclipse and Soto developed into a constant player in the fields of melodic rock with “Earthrage” being the next chapter of this success story.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Watch the Fire
  2. Burn
  3. Kings of Thunder Road
  4. Elegantly Wasted
  5. Urgent
  6. Dangerous
  7. Calling Out Your Name
  8. Heart is on the Line
  9. I Don’t Wanna Play the Game
  10. The Burning Pain of Love
  11. The Never Ending Retraceable Dream

 

Label: Frontiers Music

Genre: Melodic Hardrock

Release Date EU: March 23rd, 2018

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CD review NORDIC UNION "Nordic Union"

Veröffentlicht am 12. Januar 2016 von Markus W. in Nordic Union, Pretty Maids, W.E.T., Hardrock, Melodic Metal, News, CD Review, Heavy Metal, Classic Rock

(9/10) Frontiers President Serafino Perugino has obviously a passion for bringing together various musicians for projects that end up in releases on his label. The newest project is called Nordic Union which is a collaboration between Pretty Maids singer Ronnie Atkins and W.E.T. mainman Erik Martensson.

Normally there is a kind of competition between Denmark and Sweden but those two guys make crystal clear that a partnership can even lead to better results. Nordic Union's debut is a very strong one. It's an album that is full of killers. Atkins' unique rough vocals and Martensson's excellent sense for hooks and melodies make this record to one of the strongest melodic metal releases of the last years.

The opener "The War Has Begun" sets the tone of voice for this longplayer. It's a hard one, it's a rough one and it's a melodic one. I haven't heard Atkins that good since quite a while. I was reminded to the earlier Pretty Maids days when I heard the track.

Also the stomper "When Death is Calling" is one of those headbangers that you can't escape from. You just love this tune from the very first moment on.

"Hypocrisy" starts a bit more silent before it turns into a catchy hardrocker with a great chorus that shows Atkins at his best.

"Wide Awake" marks another midpace earworm before "Every Heartbeat" shows Nordic Union's romantic side. 

The more simpe "21 Guns" is still better than what you get from most of the other bands in this genre, followed by "Falling", a song that convinces with a well crafted chorus.

"The Other Side" keeps things rocking while "Point of No Return" reminds me again to the earlier Pretty Maids days. "True Love Awaits You" is the second very soulful hymn on "Nordic Union". It's well done even though its stands back behind "Every Heartbeat".

The musical bouncer on the debut is called "Go", which is a pretty solid hardrock tune, build on dynamic guitars and excellent vocals.

"Nordic Union" became the best Pretty Maids album Pretty Maids never wrote. Eleven melodic rockers, done by highly experienced guys, show every youngster how metal music needs to sound like. Even though 2016 just started, this album is already right now in my personal Top 10. Let's hope that this collaboration will continue. These guys are far too good to just leave it with one album.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. The War Has Begun
  2. Hypocrisy
  3. Wide Awake
  4. Every Heartbeat
  5. When Death is Calling
  6. 21 Guns
  7. Falling
  8. The Other Side
  9. Point of No Return
  10. True Love Awaits You
  11. Go

 

Label: Frontiers Music

Genre: Melodic Metal

Release Date EU: January 29th, 2016

CD review NORDIC UNION "Nordic Union"
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CD review TONY MILLS "Over my dead body"

Veröffentlicht am 23. März 2015 von Markus W. in Tony Mills, Queensryche, TNT, Shy, Hardrock, Heavy Metal, Melodic Metal, News, CD Review, W.E.T.

(8/10) Tony Mills got the first bigger attention as being part of the British AOR band Shy. But the musical history of the singer from Solihull, UK covers much more. He was part of TNT as well as of bands like Serpentine and China Blue. He also released a few solo albums of which the newest one was published a few days ago. "Over my dead body" is the name of the longplayer that was triggered by Mills' heart attack in 2010.

Mills gathered together some excellent musicians. Guys like Paul Sabu supported him on the album together with Robert Sall (W.E.T.) and many more. And he could win Neil Kernon for the mixing.

So, what's to report about the songs? I have to say that I was doubting if I put the new album from Tony Mills into the CD player. I was thinking more about Queensryche or Goeff Tate. But it couldn't be Queensryche and the songs have been far too good for a Geoff Tate album. However, I wasn't aware that Tony Mills sounds that much like Tate in his earlier Queensryche days. If you want to find out what I mean you should listen to tracks like the opener "Time won't wait" and "No love lost". Especially the last mentioned one with the samples comes close to the "Operation mindcrime" times. 

A song that gets under the skin is "My death". It's a slower tune that reflects the title very well. It is a sonic version of the fight between life and death - a mix between desperation and hope. Something Mills went through by having an heart attack at the Oslo airport in 2010. 

"My death" is also a turning point on the album. "Over my dead body" has a menacing vibe in the first half that builds up and has its climax in "My death". From this moment on it seems that the dark clouds slowly disappear and the songs get more positive. Tracks like "Somewhere in London" are great hardrock songs that have a strong AOR touch. And "Free spirits" is an almost swinging tune that reminds to Queen in some parts.

Tony Mills offers his fans an album with a lot of different shades of melodic metal. It is an emotional journey through 10 great tunes based on real life. 

Fans from Queensryche will like this album. And the same goes for fans of well-crafted melodic rock/metal performed by a great singer. Thumbs up.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Time won't wait
  2. 28 flights
  3. We should be on by now
  4. No love lost
  5. Gate 21
  6. My death
  7. Bitter suite
  8. Northern star
  9. 4 in the morning
  10. Somewhere in London
  11. Free spirit

 

Label: Battlegod Productions

Genre: Melodic Metal

CD review TONY MILLS "Over my dead body"
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CD review ECLIPSE "Armageddonized"

Veröffentlicht am 21. Februar 2015 von Markus W. in Eclipse, W.E.T., Hardrock, Melodic Metal, Rock, Classic Rock, News, CD Review

(8/10) That Sweden rocks is something we don't know only from the huge festival with the same name. There are a lot of well-known rock and metal bands coming from the country up in the North.

The vital scene in the country with the 'Tre Kronor' was the starting base for bands in all genres of rock and metal. When it comes to melodic metal the Stockholm connection is a quite strong one. Bands like W.E.T. and Work Of Art are based in the Swedish capitol and also Eclipse call the city their hometown.

Therefore it is not a big surprise that musicians are also busy in more than only one of these bands. In this case it is Eric Martensson and Magnus Henriksson that are the main drivers behind Eclipse. Starting in the late 90's the band released four records which gave them a solid position in melodic metal.

The new album, number five, is called "Armageddonize" and is released via Frontiers Records. Since esp. Martensson was also busy with bands like W.E.T. and also Henriksson was involved in many projects it took Eclipse 3 years to release the new disc. But being involved in the mentioned other bands/projects had also the effect of getting even more experience which was benefitial for "Armageddonize" too.

The result is an eleven songs long record that presents strong and powerful melodic hardrock, build on catchy melodies and heavy guitars. "Armageddonize" is entertaining from the first note to the last one. Eclipse makes use of all components of melodic rock by avoiding the pitfall of getting too soft and too catchy. The crunchy guitars always bring back the hardness right at the moment you think it becomes too much mainstream.

I like the album and I can recommend it to all melodic metal fans, esp. the ones from the above mentioned bands.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. I don't wanna say I'm sorry
  2. Stand on your feet
  3. The storm
  4. Blood enemies
  5. Wide open
  6. Live like I'm dying
  7. Breakdown
  8. Love bites
  9. Caught up in the rush
  10. One life - my life
  11. All died young

 

Label: Frontiers Records

Genre: Melodic Metal

CD review ECLIPSE "Armageddonized"
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CD review AMMUNITION "Shanghaied"

Veröffentlicht am 20. Januar 2015 von Markus W. in Ammunition, WigWam, Hardrock, Heavy Metal, Rock, News, CD Review, W.E.T., Eclipse, Nordic Beast

(8/10) This album is a real surprise. Never heard about the band before and happy that this changed; those have been my thoughts after the first round in the player. That the band's name isn't that very well known is no surprise. The are fairy new.

But the musicians are known much better. Ammunition is Age Sten Nilsen which you might know from WigWam. Next to the singer we have Hal Patino (King Diamond / Pretty Maids / Nordic Beast) on bass, Eric Mårtensson from W.E.T / Eclipse plays, together with Jon Pettersen, the six-string, Robban Bäck sits behind the drumkit and the keyboards are handled by Lasse Finsbråthen.

Based on such a bunch of experienced musicians it's not a big surprise that we talk about a really exciting album. Ammunition plays melodic hardrock - and the 'rock' is here really in focus.

The opener "Silverback" is already a hardrock firework. It's a tune with a great melody but also an excellent guitar riff - and the chorus is just the cherry in the cake.

"Give me a sign" doesn't stand back behind the opener. It's great to hear how Bon Jovi could sound when they still would rock. The title track is the next station on this hardrock journey. The foundation is a solid bassline and a punch that shakes you up.

I could continue like this. Regardless if it's the smooth grooving "Tie me down", the semi-acoustic "Road to Babylon" or the energetic "Strung out", each of those tracks shows high quality rock with hard guitar riffs.

Only "Wild card" sounds too trivial and a bit cheesy. "Heart's not in it" can't keep the high standard of the other numbers either and has also a bit too much of Aerosmith.

But this can be handled since the album has twelve songs."Shanghaied" is one of the best melodic hardrock albums in the last years and each hardrock fan should have heard it.

Great musicians, great songs, great production - and authentic.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist

  1. Silverback
  2. Give me a sign
  3. Shanghaied
  4. Tie me down
  5. Road to Babylon
  6. Take out the enemies
  7. Hit me (with your bombs)
  8. Do you like it
  9. Wild crad
  10. Another piece of me
  11. Heart's not in it
  12. Strung out

 

Label: AOR HEaven

Genre: Melodic Hardrock

CD review AMMUNITION "Shanghaied"
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CD review W.E.T. "One live - in Stockholm"

Veröffentlicht am 7. März 2014 von Markus W. in W.E.T., Hardrock, CD Review, News

(8/10) W.E.T. stands for Work Of Art, Eclipse and Talisman. Those are the bands of the three main heads behind W.E.T., Robert Säll, Erik Mårtensson and Jeff Scott Soto. The fruits of their cooperation are so far two excellent hardrock/AOR records. 

In January 2013 the band played a show in Stockholm, Sweden, which they recorded. The result is published in these days as a CD and DVD. The name is "One live - in Stockholm" and was put on tape in the Debaser club in Swedens capitol.

The live album confirms everything we have heard from the band before. No-frills hardrock from high quality and hooks that are just amazing. Next to the more relaxed songs like "If I fall" and "Comes down like rain" the band also shows that they can really rock. Already the opening package "Walk away" and "Learn to live again" clearly proofs this. Coming closer to the end the setlist the show also included highlights from the debut like "One love". 

W.E.T. spiced up the setlist with Talisman, Eclipse and Work Of Art songs from which esp. Talisman's "Mysterious" is worth to me mentioned. This song's still a hardrock pearl, which is always a pleasure to listen to.

With "Poison" and "Bigger than the both of us" the album comes also with two bonus tracks from the "Rise up" session. Those tunes are awesome and show the high standards of the band and the band members. Those tracks didn't make it on the album eventhough they are better than what you hear from 90% of all other hardrock/AOR bands. Just incredible.

A cool record that documents a show which for sure heated up the cold January in Stockholm. All done right and thumbs up.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist

  1. Walk away
  2. Learn to live again
  3. Invincible
  4. I'll be there
  5. Love heals
  6. Rise up
  7. Bleed & scream (Eclipse)
  8. Bad boy
  9. Still unbroken
  10. Broken wings
  11. I'll be waiting (Talisman)
  12. If I fall
  13. Shot
  14. Comes down like rain
  15. The great fall (Work Of Art)
  16. What you want
  17. Brothers in arms
  18. Mysterious (Taliman)
  19. One love
  20. Poison (Numbing the pain) (Bonus)
  21. Bigger than both of us (Bonus)

 

​Label: Frontiers Records

Genre: Hardrock

CD review W.E.T. "One live - in Stockholm"
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Trailer for the coming W.E.T. live album "One live - in Stockholm"

Veröffentlicht am 17. Dezember 2013 von Markus W. in W.E.T., Hardrock, News

Swedens melodic hardrocker W.E.T. recorded a show in Stockholm on January this year. The result will be a live CD/DVD called "One live - In Stockholm" which will be released via Fontiers Records on February 21st. Here is already a trailer for the album. Sounds good, but maybe a bit polished. Let's see and wait for the entire album.

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