Now I will freely admit, I’ve had this particular review on my “To Do” list for quite some time (yes, many apologies to all the bands who also have albums on that list – they’re coming, very soon) and for the tardiness I am truly sorry. Worse still, from the first listen “Bleed and Scream” has, genuinely, been one of my favourite of the year!
I had only seen press coverage of Eclipse before this album, but all the commentators raved about them – so when my copy arrived I was already interested. From the first bars of track one it was clear that this was not just a band surrounded by hype – a very impressive blend of edginess and melody all pulled together by a superb production job too! Time and again over my love affair with music I’ve said that if a recording can hold your attention from the first second to the last and then keep you coming back for more it has that special something . With “Bleed and Scream” Eclipse have got such a beast.
The band gained a solid reputation with “Are You Ready to Rock” from 2008 and a steady following with their album album that took their melodic Hard Rock roots in a more contemporary direction. Besides this, they enjoyed the success of their involvement with the W.E.T. project that followed in 2009 which was produced by Erik Mårtensson and included the writing skills of Erik Mårtensson / Magnus Henriksson whose song “Brothers in Arms” (originally an Eclipse-track) was voted as # 1 for best song of the year in Melrock awards for 2009. A short tour followed which included an appearance at Firefest and as an opening act for Deep Purple. Since then, singer Erik Mårtensson has been busy producing and writing a number of successful songs and records for such artists as: W.E.T, Toby Hitchcock, Giant, Jimi Jamison just to name a few. This has gained him a reputation as one of the top producers/song-writers in this genre today.
In 2011 Eclipse teamed up again to write what was to become their latest effort “Bleed and Scream”. The bar was set high and the initial goal was to top their latest album.
“We knew we had to do everything better on this album. If we couldn’t have achieved that we never would have released it! But boy did it turn out well! When it was taking shape we realized this was to be a monster of an album!” says guitarist Magnus Henriksson. “Every song has qualities as a single. Erik´s vocals are way better than ever. The guitar-sound is just awesome! The whole production is just in your face. It has something for everyone in it! We worked so hard at making this record that it drove us nearly nuts and made us wanna scream, but now it’s your turn to bleed & scream!”
With big guitars, big choruses, melody by the truck load this is an absolute corker of an album. Over the last few years Melodic Rock has seen such a resurgence, a lot of which is down to those folks at Frontiers Records who once again have struck pure gold with this band. With songs that evoke something for everyone – at times hints of Dragonforce, small hints of “Wild Frontier” era Gary Moore and perhaps most magnificently, huge servings of the polish that was all that was best about 80s rock (but never sounding dated or rehasehed) – Eclipse truly represent everything I love about rock and is clearly the sound of a band enjoying what they do – surely the quality mark that is needed in the music industry today?
If you even vaguely enjoy rock you MUST buy “Bleed and Scream” and tell your local venues to get these boys over to the UK and around Europe as soon as is humanly possible.
“Bleed and Scream” is available now via Frontiers Records
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Review by David Wilson