2017COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: LINEUP:
Erik Mårtensson - vocals, guitar * Magnus Henriksson - guitar * Magnus Ulfstedt - bass * Philip Crusner - drumsTRACK LISTING:
01 Vertigo * 02 Never Look Back * 03 Killing Me * 04 The Downfall Of Eden * 05 Hurt * 06 Jaded * 07 Born To Lead * 08 For Better Or For Worse * 09 No Way Back * 10 Night Comes Crawling * 11 Black RainRATING: WEBLINKS: www.eclipsemania.com
The star attraction of last year's MelodicrockfestAUS was Swedish band Eclipse. They appeared late on the second night to an enthusiastic local crowd and thoroughly blew everyone away with a class performance. It was good catching up with Erik and the band and understanding what makes them tick. In essence, they deliver a Goldilocks version of melodic hard rock. In this case, not too light, and not too heavy. Now most of the time, I much prefer it when a band like this goes down the heavier route, but Eclipse sit right on the cusp of that hard rock/metal fence, and this is exactly where 'Monumentum' is placed, keeping fans on both sides of the gate happy.
Like other bands on the Frontiers roster, these guys are top drawer and like the recently reviewed House Of Lords
article for 'Saint Of The Lost Souls', the term 'consistency' appears to be in the vocabulary for these guys too. The team are on the rampage early on, with 'Vertigo' sending aural senses into a tailspin. 'Never Look Back' is second up, and when they mention hurricanes in the lyrics, you know Eclipse are storm-chasers of the melodic kind. 'Killing Me' is a dramatic and intense near 4 minutes, you'll need a strong coffee to manage your way through this. 'The Downfall Of Eden' is the first change-up, and we're now four tracks in and I'm very impressed. I like the arrangement for this, with medieval styled lyrics but Gary Moore
flavoured passages from his early 80's timeframe. Erik sings in the vein of Hardline
's Johnny Gioeli, which is a huge endorsement. 'Hurt' is the album's first ballad, and soars into the heavens. Eclipse perform melodic rock ballads the way they are supposed to. I've heard many artists do ballads and absolutely kill them; they should take lessons from these guys.
We venture into the back-end of the album now, and there's no respite with 'Jaded' shifting out of cruise control, with an arrangement and chorus that few bands can get close to. 'Born To Lead' is the perfect blend of steely melodic rock and borderline metal, with tough as nails guitar work and a rampant rhythm section. The riffs keep flying off the handle with 'For Better Or For Worse', as well as 'No Way Back', both tracks too good to ignore. Eclipse take the elevator to the top floor with 'Night Comes Crawling', preceded by an intro of sonic disturbance before the doors are kicked out. The album closer is the five minute special 'Black Rain'. It's a power ballad, and rises like a Phoenix through a cloudbreak of blanketed guitars and vocals.
Most of the songs hover in the three/half to four minute range, so they never outstay their welcome. This is the ideal length for an album like this, and as mentioned above, sits nicely in the Goldilocks zone. Perfect. As an aside, the Japanese edition of this album includes a bombastic acoustic version of 'The Downfall Of Eden'. I'm thinking this will be a great track for the band to do as an unplugged rendition. No doubt it will be another busy year for Mr Mårtensson, but if I can make some suggestions Erik (err hmm).. a new Toby Hitchcock
collaboration would be cool. So too a new W.E.T.
album. Not asking for much.. lol. In the meantime enjoy this melodic monsterpiece. It really is worth setting aside 46 minutes of your time.
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