Review by Mick Parry
Three years on from the outstanding Bleed & Scream, Sweden’s Eclipse release there fifth studio album. The new album featuring the amazing vocal talent Erik Martensson and stellar guitarist Magnus Henriksson has managed to raise the level and produced, to these ears, a masterpiece.
Heading toward the heavier end of the melodic rock scale, the guys have unleashed a monster mix of brilliant songs featuring blistering guitar riffs, thunderous drums and Erik’s vocal delivery. (Is it compulsory that all Swedish bands must have a vocalist called Erik? Whatever the case, it works for me). Here we have eleven well written and superbly produced songs that will blow you away on first listen, so grab a beer and turn the volume to ten (“Surely you mean 11?”, Ed.)
“I Don’t Want To Say I’m Sorry” kicks it all off and, after a short build up, it becomes one of the most infectious songs Eclipse have ever produced – heavy riffs and an anthemic chorus , destined to be a classic and a live favourite. The next song, “Stand On Your Feet”, is even heavier, classic guitar work and another monster chorus – made even more wondrous by the fantastic performance by the rhythm section of Robban Back and Magnus Ulfstedt holding in it all together.
“The Storm” appears to quieten it down a bit , but then hits you and builds until another huge chorus, the vocals from Erik are stunning. You’ll be singing this song for weeks afterwards.
“Blood Enemies” starts with a bit of the blues, but that should be blue touch paper this song explodes into one of the heaviest tracks on the album. “Wide Open” is a mental mix of loud guitars ,banging drums and Erik’s vocals and a huge, huge chorus – all resulting in a song that should mean that this could be the finest Eclipse song ever.
And breathe … now we hit the big ballad “Live Like I’m Dying”, a slow starting song but like everything on this album it builds into the beast lurking that then attacks with a stunning guitar solo. There’s no doubt about it, this is an epic song. “Breakdown” has a feel of the blues again, this song highlights Erik’s vocal delivery and is a much slower song. Then it’s straight into “Love Bites” which is another full on rocker with a big strong beat and a great catchy chorus. Two more heavier tracks “Caught Up In That Rush” and “One Life -My Life” feature some quality melodic yet powerful performances.
The final track, “All Died Young”, is another out and out cannonball of a song with an amazing drum beat and a major riff-fest and another chorus to die for.
To top “Bleed And Scream”, “Armageddonize” needed to be something special – Eclipse didn’t. They produced something spectacular! A much heavier album and right on the boundaries of melodic rock or melodic hard rock as this is, for someone brought up on loud guitars and drums this is great. The guys are in the UK in March – do not , I repeat DO NOT, miss the opportunity to go out and see these guys.
This is an album that come the end of the year will be in most peoples top tens and it will be well deserved.