Saturday, April 29, 2017
Rock Candy specialists have given their Remastered & Reloaded treatment to the most beloved WARRANT albums, their first & second, both among the best US Melodic Hard Rock / hair metal records ever. Warrant's debut "Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich" started all, their rollicking career to stardom.
As one of the main movers and shakers of the Los Angeles Sunset Strip rock scene during the late '80s, Warrant made a huge impact at every level helping to define not only a musical movement but also establishing a commercial breakthrough that astounded the naysayers.
It was a golden time for not only the music of the era but also Warrant directly, whose presence on MTV was virtually permanent.
Like most bands, the formation of Warrant mutated through a number of line-ups, but it eventually settled to feature vocalist Jani Lane, an appointment that ignited the band’s creativity and placed them on the path to gold and glory.
But it wasn’t an easy ride, with a number of setbacks frustrating progress, including a brief encounter with the Prince’s Paisley Park organisation which bankrolled a demo that then received a number of rejections from most record labels.
Eventually however, with the help of major management, the band signed to Columbia records and commenced their rise to stardom.
Originally issued in January 1989, "Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich" was produced by Beau Hill (Ratt, KIX, Winger) and set in motion a rapid rise to fame, which came as little surprise to those who had been following the band from the sidelines.
The compelling production, trademark riffs and Lane’s unique vocals elevated the songs to another level.
‘Down Boys’, the first track to radio, was a hit, and the ballad ‘Heaven’ made it to #2 on the US singles chart, giving Warrant accelerated sales upwards of double platinum.
The glossy production sound of "Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich" makes it emblematic of its time. It's sleek and clean, built on processed guitars and cavernous drums, never taking more time than it needs, pushing the hooks front and center, along with a mile-wide sentimental streak best heard on the power ballads 'Sometimes She Cries' and 'Heaven'.
But don't be mistaken - those are two slow moments on an album that's a party, hard rockin' record, like the tremendous 'Down Boys' and its indelible chorus, '32 Pennies' with loads of hooks and that glam rock riff that Motley Crue mastered a few years prior, or the kicking 'Big Talk'.
To my ears, both first Warrant albums sound fantastic in its original release. Is this Rock Candy remaster worth of it? I guess the answer is yes.
There's more bass presence, a punchier output and an overall feel of pristine-ness.
Anyway, any version of Warrant's "Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich" is an essential addition to your melodic hard rock collection, and if you need to choose one, get this Rock Candy remaster.
A MUST HAVE
You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox
01 - 32 Pennies
02 - Down Boys
03 - Big Talk
04 - Sometimes She Cries
05 - So Damn Pretty (Should Be Against The Law)
06 - D.R.F.S.R.
07 - In The Sticks
08 - Heaven
09 - Ridin' High
10 - Cold Sweat
Jani Lane – vocals, acoustic guitar
Erik Turner – guitar, backing vocals
Joey Allen – guitar, backing vocals
Jerry Dixon – bass, backing vocals
Steven Sweet – drums, backing vocals
Beau Hill – keyboards, background vocals, production
Bekka Bramlett – background vocals
Mike Slamer - guitar
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This was requested again by one of you and it's a really nice one because this album was criminally ignored when originally released. And it's a really good one.
Along with such contemporaries as Helix, Killer Dwarfs and Headpins, CONEY HATCH defined Canadian hard rock in the '80s. The band returned with this "Four", their first album in nearly three decades released via Frontiers Music.
For those uninitiated, Coney Hatch broke onto the Canuck music landscape at the beginning of the Eighties releasing three albums on Anthem / Polygram and toured with the likes of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Ted Nugent and Cheap Trick.
Coney Hatch made a huge splash on the international hard rock scene when their self-titled debut album arrived in 1982 produced by Max Webster's frontman / guitarist Kim Mitchell. The disc featured the stand-out tracks Devil's Deck, Hey Operator and Monkey Bars — catapulting the Canadian combo onto world tours.
Two more melodic, high-octane records followed; Outta Hand (1983) and the awesome rockin' AOR filled Friction (1985), one of my favorite albums in the genre.
But relentless touring and critical acclaim did not equate into gold and platinum sales figures, and by 1986 Coney Hatch called it quits.
What makes this Coney Hatch reunion so unique and special is that it's the REAL band. Unlike so many of their contemporaries, the Coney Hatch line-up for this "Four" CD features the original members — including lead singer / guitarist Carl Dixon, vocalist & bassist Andy Curran, guitarist Steve Shelski and drummer Dave 'Thumper' Ketchum.
"Four" kicks off with the first single, the infectious "Blown Away". Immediately the album has me smiling, as this song has everything I love about Coney Hatch, driving in your face drums and bass, shredding guitar solos and the vocal prowess of Carl Dixon through the big sing along chorus.
Hell Yeah! The Hatch is back.
Other highlights include "Boys Club", a dirty little rocker that offers plenty of the band's signature-style, gritty guitar work and Andy Curran taking the vocal lead. Tongue in cheek, nasty rock n roll, exactly what the doctor ordered.
The album plays out delivering plenty of balls-out rockers in "Down N Dirty", "Connected" and the classic rock of "We Want More", balanced with some softer, lovable melodic rockers on "Revive" and "Holding On".
Finally, "The Devil U Know" is a textbook example of how a good rockin' track can (and should) be built around a great guitar riff.
Having two very talented yet different vocalists has always been a cool part of Coney Hatch's sound. They say that rock 'n roll will keep you young and that should be true as Carl and Andy's pipes sound as strong as if they had recorded the vocals back in '87.
Yes, after more than thirty years, "Four" finds Coney Hatch at the top of their game — both musically and vocally.
In sum, "Four" serves as a mighty vehicle for a band that remains a powerful and authentic hard rock force.
01. Blown Away
02. Boys Club
03. Down 'N Dirty
04. Do It Again
07. We Want More
08. Devil U Know
10. Keep Driving
11. Holdin' On
Carl Dixon (lead vocals, guitar)
Andy Curran (vocals, bass)
Steve Shelski (lead guitar)
Dave Ketchum (drums)
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Friday, April 28, 2017
"Kings Of Broadway" is the self-titled full length debut from Italians KINGS OF BROADWAY, originally formed back in 2011 by guitarist Aldo Lonobile. Aldo is considered as one of the most recognized guitar players & composers from the Italian metal scene (founder member of bands like Secret Sphere, Civilization One and Shadowspell).
Despite his metal music background, Lonobile wanted to create a completely different sounding band inspired by the classic hard rock acts from the '80s.
And the resulting "Kings Of Broadway" is a thoroughly entertaining, killer hard rock debut effort.
"First Day Of My Life" which kicks-off things here is pure gold. Hard rock with attitude akin Lynch Mob's first album that includes rough vocal lines, a heavy riffing and a chorus line to sing-a-long all day. Lead singer Tiziano Spigno certainly nails this genre, and the rhythm section is steady, rock solid.
"Berserk" is another killer, groovy tune, "Dancing On The Edge Of Time" is a ballsy hard rocker, then with "Never Enough" the band delivers a more commercial / melodic hard rock oriented track that makes you push the repeat button several times.
On the fourth track "Quantum Leap" you hear a unique sound with the band and singer coming into their own and putting the 'Kings Of Broadway' stamp on every aspect of the song.
Spigno is a gifted singer with a beautiful voice as evidenced in the slow tempo track "Through It All" and the rock version of One Republic's smash radio hit "Counting Stars" which on paper probably made no sense until you hear their version.
It's far more exciting and interesting than the original boy-band hit and a real testament to the range and talent of this unique and hopefully lasting band.
Kings Of Broadway comes out of nowhere to stop the press with their 'ballsy', melodic and edgy heavy rock debut album. This is true, real hard rock with tons of attitude and punch, but an extremely polished production.
Kings Of Broadway is what many fans have been asking for years: hard rock bands that do more than prance and scream but instead perform with a drive to make fresh what others have taken for granted.
One of the surprises of the year... terrific album.
01 - First Day of My Life
02 - Beserk
03 - Shallow Ground
04 - Quantum Leap
05 - Never Enough
06 - Iron Lady
07 - Dancing on the Edge
08 - Through It All
09 - Hit the Ground
10 - Counting Stars
Tiziano Spigno – Vocals
Aldo Lonobile – Guitars
Ricky Messeri – Guitars
JJ Andreaone – Bass
Luca Cartasegna - Drums
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Founder of cult '80s hard rockers XYZ and part of many acts such as Great White, lead singer TERRY ILOUS is releasing today his third solo venture titled "Gypsy Dreams".
A cover album of classic rock and hard rock favorites with an acoustic and flamenco edge, "Gypsy Dreams" features a really solid cast of L.A. based session musicians including Chris Trujillo (Toto, Black Crowes) on drums/percussion, Al Velasquez (Michael McDonald, Albert Lee) on drums, Jesse Stern (George Clinton, Chad Smith) on bass and many more.
Ilous relocated to Hollywood, California from Lyon, France, in 1986, forming the hard rock band XYZ along with friend and bassist Pat Fontaine. Ilous quickly became a favorite on Sunset Strip scene in the late '80s before getting signed to Enigma/Capitol.
After selling over 1.5 million records worldwide and touring with artists such as Foreigner and Alice Cooper, Ilous has continued to release albums well into the 2000s, along with film, songwriting and television work, and was chosen as led singer for Great White.
"Gypsy Dreams" is a nine-track salute to classic rock with a twist.
This is not exactly an 'unplugged' record as there's electrics mixed with acoustics, and the guitars are not just 'nylon-sounding' sweetness. The flamenco guitarists here are true beasts, and some riffs even feel more potent than through a distortion amp / pedal.
The twist for Ilous is that he has taken such diverse classics such as Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love, Peter Gabriel's In Your Eyes, DIO / Black Sabbath's Heaven And Hell or Chris Isaak's Wicked Game and given then a an acoustic / flamenco edge to them.
I also enjoyed a lot his take on Def Leppard's Love bites with a little raspy vocal performance.
Very well done, enjoyable classic songs. Two thumbs up!
1. Whole Lotta Love – (Led Zeppelin)
2. Boys Of Summer – (Don Henley)
3. In Your Eyes – (Peter Gabriel)
4. Long Train Running – (The Doobie Brothers)
5. Wicked Game – (Chris Isaak)
6. Heaven And Hell – (Black Sabbath)
7. Ride Like The Wind – (Christopher Cross)
8. Love Bites – (Def Leppard)
9. Kill The King – (Rainbow)
Terry Ilous – Vocals
Luis Villegas – Flamenco Guitar
Jose Garcia – Flamenco Guitar
Ben Woods – Flamenco Guitar
Mike Paganini – Bass
Jesse Stern – Bass
Chris Trujillo – Drums, Percussion
Al Velasquez – Drums, Percussion
Mike Bennett – Drums, Percussion
Natalie Gelman – Background Vocals
PRE ORDER CD version:
BACKWOOD SPIRIT is formed by a bunch of experienced musicians from Sweden - fronted by legendary genius-singer Goran Edman - who are releasing their self-titled debut today, "Backwood Spirit".
On this record, the band brings their Nordic flair to the forefront on their take of the '70s Bluesy Rock & Soul sound.
Fans of classic acts in this vein, especially from Great Britain, along with modern era bands like Rival Sons and Blues Pills will easily give Backwood Spirit a new home in their collection.
Comprising veteran, 'I-can-sing-anything' vocalist Göran Edman and band founder, guitarist, songwriter Kent Engström, the duo begin work two years ago on what would become their debut album, "Backwood Spirit".
All told, a record filled with 8 tracks filled with endless amounts of passion and bluesy spirit.
Edman emotes so much soul in his vocals that they are soothing, dripping with conviction and also pain felt. What would Classic Bluesy Rock be without 'those' type of vocals? Mr. Marriott & Mr. Rodgers are being done awfully proud here!
Whether it be songs like "Take Me Home" with its slow shuffle and heartfelt crooning or the 'Black Crowes' vibe of "Piece Of The Peach" or the record ending "Water Of Change / Rainbow", complete with a slight little nod to Rush's epic masterpiece Xanadu in its intro, Backwood Spirit deliver an authentic '70s Revival experience that is not deceptive.
This debut record from Backwood Spirit is so steeped in the backwoods country of the Southern U.S. goodness, that you will be hard pressed to convince anyone that these are Swedes dropping all this smooth and tasty Classic Bluesy goodness.
Engström's guitar is perfectly played with taste and touch, ala Paul Kossoff, with no offhanded wankery here, just seasoned and spiced so nice.
In 2017, it just shows that the 1970's were such an important era for music and its Classic Rock / Blues and Soul are being will preserved by the likes of Backwood Spirit.
Man, do I love the Swedes and their never-ending stream of great, great music!
1 - Give Me Good Lovin'
2 - Piece of the Peach
3 - Ain't Got Love
4 - Take Me Home
5 - When Love Comes Around
6 - Soul to Soul
7 - Get Your Wings (Teddy's Song)
8 - Water of Change / Rainbow
Göran Edman - Vocals
Kent Engström - Guitar
Niclas Boson - Bass
Joje Lindskoog - Ludwig Drums
Peter Emilson - Keyboards
Tobias Åslund - Keyboards on the album
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After their very solid debut, "World War X" is the follow up album from Swedes JD MILLER released today via Mighty Music. "World War X" pretty much sounds like they say in the press release: 'a musical child bred by by Eclipse and Evergrey'. A daring statement, and truth to be said, they try to live up to this.
Sweden has a great tradition of producing fine music in both metal-related and AOR / melodic rock genres and, on "World War X", JD Miller seems to be trying to cross the divide and amalgamate the two.
With strong songwriting and a polished production, this CD is aimed to fans who like their rock melodious but with the big forceful sound that melodic metal brings to the table.
However, I hear that JD Miller, overall, lend more to the melodic hard, crunchy side of hard rock with tons of groove, and there's the 5-piece excels.
Many of the tracks are keyboard-inclined and the opening track, “Journey Through The Past” is a case in point, in which the ivory runs make several appearances. This opener is indicative of what to expect on the rest of the album; keyboard action, driving riffs, a big drum sound and effective / concise solos.
The vocals are quite interesting too because although they are strong, they often sound layered and don’t have the gravely effect that metal demands.
The majority of songs such as 'Power', 'Against the Wind' or 'Forgotten' fit the same formula of booming drums and gang-vocal choruses with the odd exception which includes 'Evergrey'.
Yeah, 'Evergrey' is the standout track of the album as it sets out to be a slower melodic rock song and everything fits beautifully. The pace is perfect, the vocals smooth and emotional and the guitar work excels. It will definitely be a lighter-waver when played live.
If you like melodic, guitar driven rock fronted by powerful vocals and soaring harmonies all wrapped up in modern production, JD Miller's "World War X" is your thing.
The band mix the edge of melodic metal with hard rock groove plus melodic hard rock catchiness. This blend works finely, but I would like to hear the band playing straight melodic hard rock, I'm sure they would be blast.
Anyway, "World War X" is pretty killer, and a Highly Recommended listen.
01. Journey Through the Past
02. Against the Wind
03. My Open Arms
06. Clouded Minds
09. Wanderer of Light and Sorrow
Peter Halldén - Vocals, Keyboards
Alex Oriz - Guitars
Elias Fröjd - Guitars
Chris David - Bass
Emil Eriksson - Drums
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With their 8th full-length studio album, “Black Eyed Children” (via Metalville), released today April 28th, ASTRAL DOORS is a proof that even the most gifted, talent-rich musicians continue to get better with time, and after 15 years together, there are no signs of decline in the quality of music they create.
And the music these Swedes create is a DIO-worship to new heights. Yeah, “Black Eyed Children” is classic, traditional metal in a Ronnie James Dio vein.
Hailing from Borlänge, Dalarna in southeast Sweden, Astral Doors is comprised of Nils Patrik Johansson on vocals, Joachim Nordlund on guitar, Mats Gesar on guitar, Ulf Lagerstroem on bass, Johan Lindstedt on drums, and Jocke Roberg on keyboards, and plays what once was considered traditional Heavy Metal, back when Heavy Metal was the “cash cow” of the music industry.
Being an elite-talent driven, 'thinking man’s' style and because it’s becoming increasingly different than most contemporary formats of Metal, most would likely label their music a bit more on the Power Metal side.
Whatever you want to label it, this is the sound that Heavy Metal was born of.
The cornerstone of a band is most often a charismatic lead singer, and Nils Patrik Johansson is extraordinary. Carrying the torch for Astral Doors, as well as Lion’s Share and many other bands he is part of, Johansson has everything needed in a front man; powerful DIO-esque vocals, the stage presence of a legend, and a mastermind of a songwriter.
The twin guitars of Joachim Nordlund and Mats Gesar are heavy, thick and masterful, resurrecting old school power chords and guitar interludes with precision.
With all of that being said, talent will only get you so far in any form of rock n’ roll, so writing great songs is the only way to be elevated to 'the cream of the crop' status and Astral Door’s songwriting prowess is where this band truly shines.
“Black Eyed Children” is some seriously profound stadium-ready heavy rock from, what I believe to be, one of the most talented, underrated bands currently playing Heavy Metal.
There is no question that these guys possess a wealth of essential elements that the forefathers of traditional Metal built into the foundation of this genre and they display this authenticity with masterful ease.
Soaring vocals, guitars that ebb and flow between a wall of power chords and lower tones with a bluesy foundation, and a thunderous bottom end are what drives each and every track on this terrific album.
Extremely clean, chunky chords steeped in heavy metal history; drums, thick and full of punch; singer Nils Patrik Johansson’s ever-aging Dio-isms; 'We Cry Out' certainly sounds like it has the makings of a great opener.
Although there are no weak tracks found anywhere here, 'Good vs Bad', 'God Is The Devil', and 'Lost Boy' are standouts that really touched me, with my two favorite tracks being the atmospheric and magical 'Walls', and the edgy, classic '80s guitar-filled 'Die On Stage', a killer tune.
In a time when most new bands are straying into the saturated and trendy sub-genres that highlight the many different styles of metal screams and growls, Astral Doors continue to stay true to their classic Heavy Metal roots and by doing so, honor the Metal Gods that so deeply influenced their souls.
With the many different ranges of Metal being released these days, “Black Eyed Children” is such a breath of fresh air that will have you raising your horns high in honor of all that is traditional, classic metal. This new material, as a whole, is as good as I’ve heard from this extremely gifted band and only raises the bar even higher.
This Limited Edition Digipak includes the bonus track 'Jesus Christ Moviestar' which somehow reminds me of Jorn, and the album artwork is slightly different.
Dio / Black Sabbath / Vandenberg's MoonKings (and alike) fans, this is a must have for you.
01 - We Cry Out
02 - Walls
03 - God Is the Devil
04 - Die on Stage
05 - Tomorrow's Dead
06 - Good vs. Bad
07 - Suburban Song
08 - Lost Boy
09 - Slaves to Ourselves
10 - Black Eyed Children
11 - Jesus Christ Moviestar (bonus track)
Nils Patrik Johansson - Vocals
Joachim Nordlund - Guitars
Mats Gesar - Guitars
Ulf Lagerstroem - Bass
Johan Lindstedt - Drums
Jocke Roberg - Keyboards
thanks to Jeff Legg
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Thursday, April 27, 2017
With only one song on iTunes and without any commercial backup, new Swedish Melodic Rock band ROCKETT LOVE received a great deal of radio time (and was featured in this blog's Advanced Releases series). The song is 'Rocket Love', and had a big viral spin when legend Beau Hill took the song to his studio and produced it.
Now via AOR Heaven Records, Rockett Love presents their full length debut "Grab The Rocket" to be released tomorrow.
The first thing that impress is the confidence these guys spread all over the record; they are not afraid to add a modern spin to the classic melodic hard rock formula, resulting in a fresh and at the same time ageless collection of songs.
Sure, the influences are shown, ranging from a Dave Lee Roth fronted Van Halen to a more contemporary Swedish melodic rock sound like Jeff Scott Soto's W.E.T., but Rockett Love has its own, distinctive sound.
Opener 'Never Surrender' with its punch, catchy choruses and the solid vocals of Daniel Samuelsson is the perfect example of what this band is all about, but there's more.
Next 'One of These Days' offers a different side, especially on the vocal phrasing, showcasing that Rockett Love is not just a one trick pony.
The single 'Rocket Love' (3rd song), with a powerful riff assemble + vocals that bring to mind W.E.T. is terrific. The chorus kills, the guitar soar, and the rhythm section a blast. A highlight.
'Whatever You Say' is built for the arenas (some Vega on it), 'We Will Be Heroes' has that early Van Halen swagger we all love, and 'Rev it Up' is darker, groovy, in the vein of the last Winger.
'Shining Light' rocks with potent riffs, and again here Samuelsson delivers a chameleonic vocal performance sounding different than on any of the previous tracks. This guy's range is amazing. There's a smoking guitar solo too.
'Love and Money' is just another fabulous cut plenty of energy, then a pumping bass drives 'Line of Sight', a song with a distinctive set of riffs and again, great vocals, this time slightly raspy.
'Fall on Your Knees' add acoustics to the mix but this is not a ballad, and rocks with style.
For the end, 'Heart of Stone' bring some classy hard rock to the table, and damn, it certainly rocks. Sharp riffs, powerhouse vocals and a kickin' rhythm section.
The talent emerging from Sweden has not end in sight.
Rockett Love is just another terrific band, a young promise to the Melodic Hard Rock scene, and while "Grab The Rocket" is their first step they sound like a seasoned bunch of professionals, and the best part of all; they write killer songs.
01 - Never Surrender
02 - One of These Days
03 - Rocket Love
04 - What Ever You Say
05 - We Will Be Heroes
06 - Rev. It Up
07 - Shining Light
08 - Love and Money
09 - Line of Sight
10 - Fall on Your Knees
11 - Heart of Stone
Daniel Samuelsson (vocals)
Stefan Westerlund (guitar)
Gustaf Eklund (guitar)
Dennis Vestman (bass)
Fredrik Ahlin (drums)
Swedish uber-melodic rockers BAI BANG will release their new album “Rock Of Life” next April 28 through German label AOR Heaven. Since their origins, Bai Bang's aim was to deliver simple, fun, entertaining melodic rock, and this new album isn't the exception.
Bai Bang’s recipe for Melodic Rock lay on the basics when you try to craft a hit: short song length, sing-along choruses, easy living melodies and catchiness all over.
The new disc is more melodic and quite more commercial than previous excursions. Diddi´s vocals are stronger and have more depth than we have heard before… and the music contains the same high level of intensity with positive and bright messages and will become instant anthems for all melodic rockers, young and veterans.
Title track and 'Stop Messin´ Around' are two tracks here that perfectly sums-up what Bai Bang is all about; fun, toe-tapping melodic rock with crystal clear vocals and polished production.
'Hey Hey You' is sticky akin Warrant, they turn the volume up for 'Smoking Hot', and 'Gonna Rock You' is designed for the arenas.
All are good, entertaining songs, and the band delivers a solid acoustic version of 'Only the Best Die Young' (an old rocker from the band) and even flirt with classic rock on closer 'Telephone Line'.
Bai Bang keep it true to their original premise: entertain you. “Rock Of Life” is a solid, very enjoyable collection of Melodic Rock tunes perfectly crafted and recorded by mastermind Diddi Kastenholt (vocals / songwriter), a veteran who knows a trick or two about this genre...
The album is subtitled 'Do You Wanna Taste It', and definitely you should do it.
01 - Crazy Night
02 - Hey Hey You
03 - Heart and Soul
04 - Rock of Life
05 - Stop Messin' Around
06 - Only the Best Die Young (Acoustic Version)
07 - Smoking Hot
08 - Gonna Rock You
09 - Runaway
10 - Gimme All Your Love
11 - Telephone Line
Diddi Kastenholt - Vocals
Filip Wilhelmsson - Guitar, backing vocals
Christoffer Svensson - Bass
Oskar Wennberg - Drums
ART NATION, the fast rising melodic rock act from Gothenburg, Sweden, will release its highly anticipated second album "Liberation" tomorrow, April 28th, via Sony Music / Gain and AOR Heaven Records.
This time around, the songs have more versatility and finesse, together with the melodies, catchy hooks, and stellar instrumental performances that Art Nation’s followers have come to expect. The band has been working closely together with selected external songwriters, bringing diversity to the album.
One thing about the Melodic Rock genre as a whole is that even though there is a large number of artists all pumping out amazing material, you may think that it all sounds the same.
You’d be very wrong as actually it’s a very diverse genre as there are always ways you can experiment with your tones, your melodies and your songs to give the music you create a very unique sound that is exclusive for your band and your band alone.
An example of this is Art Nation.
Already having experience fronting the excellent (now defunct) act Diamond Dawn, Swedish singer Alexander Strandell was already known in the genre for his amazing vocal range and energetic stage presence when playing shows and so after leaving his former band, his obvious love for this type of music drove him to carry on and form a new band.
That dream was soon made a reality as he was able to gain a bass player in the form of Simon Gudmundsson, with guitarist Christoffer Borg, and keyboardist Theodor Hedström (who also co-produced the album) joining soon after.
Following several live shows and TV appearances later and a second guitarist (Johan Gustavsson) and drummer (Carl Tudén) was found for the band and soon they had everything they needed to record “Revolution”.
"Ghost Town" is just perfect the perfect melodic-hard opener, punchy, vibrant and with a killer contagious chorus. "Maniac" add a big groove to it, plus a clever chant that reminds me of H.E.A.T. "I'm Alive" starts slowly with a haunting melody and then, when it comes to the chorus, it explodes onto a kicking melodic rock ball of fire.
With "Kiss Up & Kick Down" you'll be hit by a monstrous modern melodic rock anthem, then 'Paralyzed' and 'A Thousand Charades' are beautifully polished nuggets of hard driving poppy melodic rock, a smash-down-the-barricades stance reflected in the buoyant 'One Nation'.
All of the songs on this album are not just well written and well produced but they also have some amazing melodies to them. Art Nation are very clever at the arrangements, and in many ways, this factor set them apart from the Melodic Rock scene.
Their sound is familiar, but the guys add their own spin and the entire "Liberation" feels pretty unique.
One of the best Melodic Hard Rock albums of the year for sure.
01 - Ghost Town
02 - Maniac
03 - The Real Me
04 - Kiss Up & Kick Down
05 - When Stars Align
06 - One Nation
07 - A Thousand Charades
08 - Take Me Home
09 - I'm Alive
10 - Paralyzed
11 - What Do You Want
Alexander Strandell - Vocals
Christoffer Borg - Guitar
Johan Gustavsson - Guitar
Simon Gudmundsson - Bass
Theodor Hedström - Keyboards
Carl Tudén - Drums