Review: Art Nation – Liberation

Record Info Rating: 9/10
Label: Sony Music/Gain Reviewed by: “Westman”
Producer: Jacob Herrmann, Theodor Heström and Christoffer Borg
Release date: April 28th 2017
Line-up: Alexander Strandell(vo), Christoffer Borg (gu), Johan Gustavsson (gu), Carl Tudén (dr), Simon Gudmundsson(ba)

Like all jobs, reviewers choose different ways to approach the task to review an album. Personally, I think an album should be listened to up to 10 times before the verdict will fall. A good album are an album that grows on you and not always hit you like a Sledgehammer.

First song Ghost Town nearly knocked me of my feet though beeing a straight rock song ala The Answer or Bonafide. With the bands as a reference to the song, you might think it does not sound like Art Nation and at a first listening, I would agree with you, except that it is Alexander Strandell singing and his voice got something that stand out. Alex might even bring some of his best performances ever on Liberation.

After that convincing start I got a bit reserved as second song Kiss Up & Kick Down sounded quite different as the sound was way much bigger. But this is were listen to an album several times become apparently important, cause Kiss Up & Kick Down should be the next single. Give it some airtime and it will quickly be a favorite on any rock radio station.
Third song Maniac together with the previous song are my two favorites on Liberation. It has an intro riff that makes me think of funk but that’s just the intro. Just like Kiss Up & Kick Down its arrangement with strings added in production becomes a real pompy song. Carl Tudén varies between a straight rock drums and a more shuffle sound in the verse. The guitar solo, played by Christoffer Borg, is not the most equilibristic of Art Nations solos, but I like this short solo because its neat and melodic.

One Nation feels more of a metal song and Simon Gudmundsson‘s (after the recordings he has left Art Nation) basslines feels a bit progressive intro wise. The chorus is catchy but perhaps a little bit cliche wise when it comes to the lyrics .

The Real Me was the first single out, a choice that I think maybe was a little strange. Action-packed song, absolutely! Powerful as well, but I do not think it’s a single. The solos however are really smashing, in this one as both Christoffer Borg and Johan Gustavsson step up. Liberation does not contain any bad tracks but The Real Me does not tick all my boxes.
Of course a rock band och Art Nation’s dignity should have a ballad and Take Me Home are a real classy power ballad built up slowly with accoustic guitars and finishing off with again with those strings.

My only concern about that kind of string arrangements is that a band gets forced to use backing tracks live, almost everyone does that today but I think that takes away part of the live feel. When listening to an album however those kind of features can be the cream of the crop, a thing that makes a difference.

Second part of the album continues with all quality music, stand out songs to me are When Stars Align and What Do You Want. As said before the arrangements are real classy with extra effects/instruments that are put on overall the production and arrangemets could be the thing that takes Art Nation to the next level and likely their big break, Art Nation 2017 has kept their sound but also developed their sound towards both pop and even some more of the metal than on revelation.

In order to reach to a 10 on our scale, you should make an album that will become a classic. I actually think this could be Art Nations big breakthrough still I won’t give the album 10 as some of the latter songs on the album don’t do it for me. Liberation are close getting a 9.5 but stops at a 9 a band that I think has got even more to give.

Review: Osukaru – The Labyrinth

Record Info

Label: City of Lights Records
Producer: Fredrik Werner and Oz Osukaru
Release date: February 24, 2017
Line-up: Fredrik Werner (vo, g), Oz Osukaru (g), Lisa Eugenia (vo, keyb), Olof Gadd (b), Vidar Mårtensson (dr), (Fredrik Svensson, bass on The Offering)

Rating: 8/10
(10: A Master Piece / a future classic, 9: Superb, near perfect, 8: Great, 7: Very good, 6: Good, 5: Average)


We’ve followed Osukaru pretty much all the way since the start where band leader Oz Osukaru has brought forward his vision with the band, a band that has evolved from a more or less project form with all the line-up changes although Oz song writing always been the red thread.
Since 2013 Osukaru for sure became a stable band keeping the key members in the band, even if the release of Triumphant was a bit hasty.
Ever since the 2012 release of Salvation where the band released a bit tougher songs like Tear It Down and Hot Blooded Woman the band has kept coming back to that kind of songs. With singer Fredrik Werner (who came onboard 2013) Osukaru has got a sound I think suit the band and his voice.  2013 they also got onboard a female vocalist Cecilia Camuii (now replaced with Lisa Eugenia) that fits very good with the AOR songs.

With The Labyrinth the vision has been to create a theme album where the stories are inspired from the sci-fi movie with the same name. If you havn’t seen the Movie, don’t worry as the album could be listened to without having seen it. It start of with a short intro called Maze of Mind that sounds really pompy and are all in the 80’s soundtrack vein. First real song is The Stories We Tell, I do think this song is amongst the best AOR songs Oz has written and the guitar solos shifting from Oz to Fredrik fits the song very well.
Song number three Voices in The Dark are one of those a bit tougher songs that I’ve come to prefer with the band. The lead song are handled by Lisa Eugenia who has got a quite deep voice, but to me it sounds like she’s got a whole lot more to give, now don’t missunderstand me she’s doing a good job even if I believe this young vocalist got even more to give. Fredrik Werner plays a mean solo here, probably the best solo ever on an Osukaru album.
Edge of Night pass me by quite un-noticed not a bad song but nothing special to me.
Powerballad It’s Only Forever on the other hand is something different as its the first ballad after the rockers but also Lisa Eugenia really do the song justice and its one beautiful song.
After that we get another rocker Voodoo (Who Do) where Fredrik Werner both handles the lead vocals and more of that mean guitar playing.
A short interlude (quite cool actually) follows prior to another ballad, Undying Rose, this time a duo not as good as It’s Only Forever.
The Offering is perhaps my favorite on The Labyrinth. The rough sound once again appears and Fredrik gives the song that extra energy when singing from the top of his lungs “can’t stand the thought of losing you”.
Last song of this quite short album (37 minutes) Monlight Silhouette is quite standard AOR and does not raise my eyebrows.

To summarize I’d hold this album equally good as my to date favorite with the band Salvation. But also with a big plus the album got a way much better production. The latter albums from Osukaru there has been a much better budget on the production side and I do think the band got good enough songs to get even better marketing support. With that said I really think you should check this album out, it has got a whole bunch of good songs.

Review: Wonderland – Seven Wonders and Four Little Miracles

Record Info

Label:
Producer: Wonderland
Release date: February 23, 2017
Line-up: Klas Ling (vo), Pelle Andersson (g), Bo Karlsson (keyb), Patrik Adiels(b), Joakim Jansson (dr),

Rating: 8/10
(10: A Master Piece / a future classic, 9: Superb, near perfect, 8: Great, 7: Very good, 6: Good, 5: Average)

The band released their seven track debut ep six and a half years ago and now release a professional recording of the same album with an addition of four songs (well six if you count the instrumental parts as different songs). But the band has chosen to call the new additions to their full length debut for four little miracles, miracles that increase the length of the album with 36 minutes. That would mean the band double up the length of the ep with just four songs.

You could ask yourself why? But the reason becomes quite apparent when you hear the result of the re-recorded material. Everything sounds so much better it’s simply a professional recording plus the extra music of course.
When I first reviewed this in August 2009 I made references with Yes and Kansas today 2016 the references would be the same but also add Pink Floyd to the list, not to do so would be a miss, that is if you should mention any references.

During the years I’ve played the old version once in a while and my favorites has always been the same ones, Hold My Soul that starts of the album together with Can’t Get Too Much. But with the newly recorded songs several of the others songs gets an extra boost, especially In Too Deep and Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. Also there has been slight changes made to the songs both instrumental and vocal arrangements but most notably is the improvement on the production side.
As the title indicates this releas has been added with four little miracles and out of these four an instrumental piece are the first one out,but this is actually three different songs with common feel to the songs. It’s at this stage you come to think of Pink Floyd as the sound got a quite dreamy touch in a way David Gilmour often would compose and when we get to the following ballad Abandoned Ship a beautiful tale perfect arranged and produced we in fact get the best song on the album and also got that same touch as the previous.
Finishing of are two songs that been around for long and especially the first one has been played live for several years. The Rush of Possibilities is the toughest song of all progressive yet very melodic with great solos from both Pelle and Bo a bit of Deep Purple actually on this one.
In Anticipation ends the album, a song that leaves me a with mixed feelings. The recognition that we get to previous songs are in line with the clever and neat arrangements on the album, but the song also got a gitarr loop that I do find anoying that kind of ruin the song for me.

I gave the ep 8/10 just because I thought the songs was well written and has got a high standard. This time we get a better production we get more songs and perhaps the album should have had a higher rating you think as I’ve praised the production, well this is quality for shure but I got a small objection to make. The four little miracles has perhaps been in work for too long as the seven wonders feels as an entity and the miracles feels a bit different. I do like the songs but should probably been best released on their own.

Cover artwork once again done by the proffesional Mattias Norén

 

Jack Russells Great White – He saw it coming

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Record Info

Label: Frontiers
Producer:
Release date: January 27, 2017
Line-up: Jack Russell (v), Tony Montana (g, keyb), Robby Lochner  (g), Dan McNay (b), Dickie Fliszar (dr)

Rating: 7/10
(10: A Master Piece / a future classic, 9: Superb, near perfect, 8: Great, 7: Very good, 6: Good, 5: Average)

Jack Russells recoqnizable voice will forever be known as the voice of Great White. With the at times melodic rock then a great deal of pop/rock/funk should be a fair way to describe Jack Russells Great White.

The songs are written together with Robby Lochner and Tony Montana, who played bass in Great White during their most successful era. Today Tony plays rythm guitar in Jack Russells Great White.

Sing of the times are the first song. It starts of with accoustic guitar, a feature that’s usually on every Great White album. It has also got a couple of programmed effects that this time adds to the sound. One of the best songs on here.
She moves me are next one out. It starts of with a bass riff followed by a smooth guitar giving the song kind off a groove.
The same guitar sound later gets used in Don’t let me go another of those more funk groove songs that still are more of a pop song rather than a rock song. Both of the two mentioned are amongst the better on He saw it coming. Robby Lochner also presents one really nice guitar solo on Don’t let me go.
Crazy dirty guitars and perhaps the most close sounding to the old Great White. With the guitar sound and also the rythm and when we get to the chorus there’s a singalong chorus.
Another song I should mention are the ballad Anything for you probably not a classic even though its beautiful. It shows that the band has used modern way of producing. The solo sound makes me think of White Lions When the children cry only because of the chosen guitar sound.
We get a couple of really good tunes and perhaps a couple of more anonymous songs, but I wouldn’t say any bad ones.
Finishin of the album are a song that reminds me of the do-wop arrangement Slaughter made on Winging It from their debut. But when I compare the two the difference is quite big. Godspeed ,as the song is called, is close to three minutes long and it has got real lyrics, then again we get some do-wop backing vocals.

All in all Jack Russells Great White do cover some new ground that i don’t feel has been covered with the original line-up. I do enjoy the updated sound and songs even if the album won’t come up to the same standard as the Classic albums (that’s why they’re classics). But its well worth listen to and if you like I enjoy Jack Russells raspy voice you should have this album.

Jim Jidhed live at Hard Rock Cafe Gothenburg

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Jim Jidhed held a party to celebrate his new release Push on Through at Hard Rock Cafe in Gothenburg. Somewhere around 150 – 200 persons were invited to listen, mingle and additionally get to hear how some of the songs sounded live. The latter was for me a bonus, I thought we only would get to listen to the album meet some of the involved person on the album and maybe hear a story or two about the creation.
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A humble Jim Jidhed told how the album got to be all the way from our own Johan Nylén who introduced Jim and producer Daniel Flores to eachother, on to thank everyone who contributed to the album like songwriters, musicians, photographers as well as his girlfriend Sandra who was very supportive all the way.
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After all was said about the album Jim and bassist Ken Sandin performed Only one Woman just the two of them, bass and guitar and after a short intermission we then got 3 songs If we call it love, The first time and Glorious with full band. Daniel Flores behind the drums hitting them hard as always, Ken Sandin on bass, Robin Jidhed on rythm guitar, Rolf Pilotti backing vocals and of course the fabolous Michael Palace on lead guitar.

The songs all sounded as good as one could wish for and then some. Jim also invited two of the songwriters to guest appear, Philip Lindstrand got to share vocals on his song The first time and on my favorite song on the album Glorious Ulrik Lönnqvist did a short vocal guest apperance.

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I believe they will get on the road to support the album and I frankly can’t wait to see a full set of songs mixed from all of Jim’s solo albums. Let’s hope it will happen sooner than later.

Interview: Streamline (Olle Lindahl)

streamlineThey’ve worked for a long to time get their debut album done and now its ready to get released. But do you readers know who Streamline are? Lets ask them:

Who are Streamline?
Streamline is a Swedish six piece band, about to release its cracking debut album.
The band was formed in 2014 and has since been hard at work writing songs and recording them
to make available an opportunity for people to listen to great uncomplicated rock music.
Streamline consists of Olle (guitar), Jhonny (guitar), Niklas (keys), Mikael (bass) Effy (drums) and Gabriel (vocals).

Describe your sound.
We’re simply a rock band with songs full of action, energy, speed and hooks, we’re comfortable in not really trying to describe it any further. What’s most important to us when we listen to music and when people listen to Streamline, is that the imminent question simply is – do I like this? Any other thoughts about the music should be secondary to that. People get so tangled up in deciding whether they like stuff based on if it’s acceptable given a notion of categorical attributes that are deemed cool in certain cultural contexts. To us it’s more about the appeal of certain attributes in their own nature and therefore awesome rock music, and other music, can sound in a million different ways. What holds the diversity of the album together is the intensity, attitude and energy in the music and lyrics that represent us as a band. To say something, it’s pretty much what one would call a straight forward rock sound with good riffs, strong hooks, melodic vocals, furious organs and pumping drum beats. We don’t really feel like we need to please anyone but ourselves doing this at this point and that is what it becomes when we write whatever we want.
If people then like what we are and what we do when the album is out we’ll be really happy about it and like them back! As we have two guitarplayers and also a pianist in the band we have the opportinty to play around with different ways of arranging the the parts of the songs. However, the sound is accessible and and easy to dig in the end because that’s the way we write the songs. We write the songs for
the sake of what we would like to hear in rock today, not musical chauvinism or a narrow minded perception of what attributes fit a certain style that we would like to fit into.

What bands would be a good reference point for Streamline?
We all come from different musical backgrounds and each bring our own set of influences to the table but I guess as the album is recorded and done, it is somewhat possible to say something about reference points for interested listeners. A lot of musical ground was covered in deriving the influences for this album as we have love for the whole history of rock music. Everything from Rolling Stones and Humble Pie in the 60’s to Deep Purple and Kiss in the 70’s to Mr.Big and Van Halen in the 80’sto great swedish modern era bands from Hellacopters to Ghost are acceptable reference points at large and together. Our ambition has been to create an album with a sound that is clearly inspired but still has its own vibe provided by the fact the we write the songs, not the bands that we like. So we hope that other fans of rock in particular, and good kick ass music in general, will enjoy our debut album just as much as us!

When will we get to hear something from Streamline?
It looks like anyone should be able to listen to Streamlines debut album anytime they want sometime this upcoming spring. As soon as we now about any details, the information will be made available!You’ve started over as a band with a new singer and the road has been long to finalize the album. Why has it taken so long? At first we were set on recording an EP of 5 songs and we started working on the recording of those songs in the fall of 2014. As time went by we realised that our perception of what we wanted to do musically had shifted a bit and we started working on new songs to have enough for an entire album. We made some changes to the songs that we had and kept them together with the new material which has resulted in a quite diverse album. The fact that we’ve used both older and newer songs on the album is really an advantage from our point of view as it shows different sides of Streamline and we think we’re going to keep blending different influences altogether. So firstly the reason that it has taken some time to complete this album is that it has taken us this long to find precisely how we want to sound and making that happen by really working with the songs. We have no doubt that this has been a good thing, if we had released the first songs that we wrote people would probably have thought we sounded nothing like that today. Another important factor here is that Gabriel (vocals) joined the band in 2014 and we’ve had to take some time to concentrate on writing songs that fit his voice. In the end it came out great and the songs fundamentally compliment him as a singer, he and everybody feels really at home with what we managed to produce! Apart from this whole transition it has taken some time to complete the recording because we decided to record and produce the album ourselves. We have all had different things happening in our lives simultaneously and it has simply been a matter of planning and logistics. That being said we’re incredibly happy that we’re here today with a complete and great sounding album!

Any record deal signed yet?
Not at this point, we’re currently getting the material out to some interesting and interested people to see what options we have. The way the music business works along with the changing climate anddigitalization enables artists these days to make great releases happen by themselves. Given that there is a counciousness about the way the business and marketing tools work it’s easy to say no to deals that doesn’t fully satisfy our needs in terms of what we’re after in a partnership.I guess you could say we’re pretty picky but in the end we’re mostly concerned about getting the debutalbum out in a reasonable time for people to hear. What we want to do is to get out there and play
the album live and that won’t happen until there’s an album out to support. Our aim is to release the album this upcoming spring and we’re sure that whatever way the release happens will be great regardless what way we decide on!

How many tracks are the album?
The album consists of 11 tracks that we’re all equally and incredibly proud of. It includes titles such as Get What’s Coming, Freerider, No Rest For The Vicar and Deliver Us, a nice little preview right there! The number of tracks hold a nice variety of styles from harder and heavier to more pop-oriented stuff. Our main focus throughout the production process has been on conveying honesty, attitude, energy and
sounding like a band. We’re confident that we managed to accomplish that kind of coherence throughout the list of tracks.

Who has written the songs?
Most of the songs and foundations on the album are composed by me, Olle, but Jhonny has also contributed with some kick ass songs and riffs! We have an easy and fun time working together and when it comes to recording the songs we all pull our ends together to make it sound like Streamline.

And who has produced and mixed by?
The debut album which is yet to be titled is produced by ourselves, the members of Streamline. So far, we found it a good way of working as we’ve had a clear vision about the songs and the sound. The album is mixed by Victor Olsson, a very talented guitarist, producer and songwriter from Gothenburg most known from the fantastic band Saffire. We have known each other for a while and it just felt natural to
work with Victor as we have a lot of common musical references and perceptions about what constitutes a good production. He’s been a great help in the process of finding the right guitar sounds especially and we share a perspective that doesn’t necessarily draw all it’s influences for rock music from rock music which has been fruitful.

Are you booked for any live gigs next year?
We are not currently booked for gigs, we have a way of working that takes the approach of one thing at a time. This leaves us entirely focused on setting up an operable organization around the band at the moment. When we feel like we have that in place and a workable idea for the release for the album, that’s when we’ll start putting an effort into booking gigs and tours to support the album release. We’re so looking forward to seeing a lot of awesome people out on the road in Sweden and abroad in the time to come! Thanks a bunch for staying tuned, this will be a fun ride!

Interview: Anton Roos and Victor Olsson (Saffire)

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Photo 11 frame production

We got some interviews coming up the next days. The first one out are with hard rock act Saffire who released a single earlier this fall. Anton who plays drums in Saffire are also in AOR-act Elevener and we asked him a question about them as well.

It was two years between your first and second full-length release, now 2016 you released a brand new single, Intermission. Should this be counted as a teaser for the next album?

Intermission was a separate release. We recorded it during the “For The Greater Good”-sessions. The two songs that are on “Intermission” was originally a part of the whole album-setlist but we felt that they didn’t fit in to the final album. Although they are really good songs (if we say so ourselves) they were better on their own than in an album. So, they’re separate and should not be considered as a teaser for our upcoming album. The reason why we released them this fall was to give our fans something fresh to listen to while we record our upcoming album.

Saffire has got a certain sound. If I’d describe the albums I’d say that the first are a bit more classic rock and the second leans a bit more towards progressive metal. Intermisson you once again sound a little more towards the classic rock. What can we expect from the next release?

That is a nice compliment, thank you! We always try to make music that we like, whether it’s classic rock, metal, hard rock etc. We don’t want trends or boundaries when writing/performning. You can always expect good, solid songs with great melodies. Our albums tend to be broad inside the borders of “Hard rock” but there’s always a red line that flows through the album as a whole. There’ll be a bit of progressive elements, straight forward rock, strong choruses and dynamic songs overall.

And when can we expect the next album?

2017 guaranteed. But we’re not exactly sure when. Most likely after summer some time.

Anton you’re also in Elevener who also released a single 2015.The passage of time that sounds that stays true to the AOR sound Elevener always has had. Any news to tell about Elevener?

We released the single to give our fans and followers something new to listen to. Pretty much in the same way as Saffire and “Intermission”. It was followed up by some music blogs etc who wrote that we were to record a new album during 2016. That was never our words and I don’t know where that info came from, haha. But we’re still alive although it’s been some time since I last spoke to the guys. I’m sure we will make another album but I have no idea when it’s going to happen.

When you record your songs how do you work as a band during the recording process?

We are usually very well prepared so when it’s time to hit the rec button, everyone knows exactly what they are going to play, so we don’t have to waste time on argueing about how to play certain parts etc. We can just focus on the performance and the sound. As the producer of the band I guess, I usually oversee the whole recording process and make sure we get what we need from everyone’s performance and make sure we’re all happy with it. Everyone chips in and suggests things we could do so it’s not a one-man show by any means, but I think it’s important to have someone in charge of a creative process like that.

And Victor as main songwriter how do you progress when writing a song?

I usually start off with a guitar riff of some kind and start building a song around that. Sometimes I build a whole song around a main riff and ends up scrapping the main riff so sometimes I just use it as a catalyst.
I like to record my songs at home with drum machines, keyboards and everything to make sure it works in complete band environment and to get a feel what the song is gonna be like. It’s also good for the rest of the band to understand my vision of the song and they can build their own ideas based on that vision.

I also know that you write some for other artists. Some tracks that have seen the light of publicity yet?

I have written songs for a project called Gathering of Kings, which includes guys like Björn Strid, Rick Altzi and our very own Tobbe on vocals.
It has a strong 80s rock vibe to it, which is always fun to incorporate in songwriting.

I am not involved in the business side of things here but I’m pretty sure an album will be released in 2017! Everyone with a love for 80s rock will almost certainly enjoy Gathering of Kings!

You got a lot of attention for your first album and probably even more releasing your second. Will third time become a global breakthrough.
We’re always aiming higher. You can never look into the future but ofcourse that’s one of our goals.
You had lots of gigs last year, any of them you feel rise above the others?

They were all amazing gigs ofcourse but I think we all can agree on Sweden Rock Festival. A childhood dream come true for all of us. It was a special thing to open the whole festival in front of our biggest audience to date.

I also know you where thrilled about getting to play Sweden Rock Festival, you got the gig being voted there by fans. What’s your feelings about that?

It shows that we have a very loyal and supporting fan base. We couldn’t be more grateful over all the support and love people are showing us. It means everything.

Are you already booked for new dates 2017?

No gigs at the moment, no. We’re having aclose dialogue with our booking agency about the gigs and right now we want to focus on writing the new album.

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Photo by Ron Dahlgren at Sweden Rock Festival

Review: Dante Fox – Breathless

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Record Info

Label: AOR Heaven
Producer: Dante Fox, Mark Stuart and Sheena Sheer
Release date: August 26
Line-up: Sue Willets (vo), Tim Manford (gu), Andy Mills (b) and Andy Perfect (dr) Eric Ragno (keys)

Guests: Lee Small (backing vocals)

Rating: 8,5/10
(10: A Master Piece / a future classic, 9: Superb, near perfect, 8: Great, 7: Very good, 6: Good, 5: Average)

Dante Fox has been around ever since 1989 but released their first album in 1996. 2016, 20 years later fifth full-length album gets released. Phenomenal Sue Willets, of course, is the singer. Without her there would be no Dante Fox, after all she formed the Dante Fox together with guitarist Tim Manford. Rhythm Section has been intact since 2012 with Andy Mills (bass) and Andy Perfect (drums).

Breathless keep the elements intact with strong melodies and choruses, AOR with up to date production but still with one leg remaining in the 80’s sound. Sue Willets also shows why she’s ranked high on lists of the best female vocalists.
The start on Breathless are strong. Young Hearts, All Eyes on You and the title track are all songs that are of the highest class and holds the ingredients described above. The riff on All Eyes on You are just that type of riff I’m into, quite simple and very memorable, its my favorite song on here.
Broken Hearted Man is a semi-ballad that define exactly how that kind of song should sound. The album continues with top songs and each single song are easy to sing along with. Dynamite (Your Love Is Like), How Will You Know (Where to Find Me) are also songs that should be mentioned as genuine quality, the latter Willets sings for Queen and country on the top of her lungs without a flaw.

I would recommend this album as a Christmas gift without a doubt. Perhaps not every single song are a stand out song but there’s plenty of quality on here and did I mention that Sue Willets got a mighty fine voice!

Live review: Destiny @ Sticky Fingers 20161020

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*Photos by Jonas Rydén

Swedish old school metal band Destiny is closing in on 35 years and still rock as hard as ever with their dark rock. Destiny performed for the first time this decade at Sticky Fingers in Gothenburg and at the same time held a release party for their new album Climate Change, an album that contains fourteen songs with a new line-up since the last release except for founding member bassist Stefan Björnshög.

New in the band are german guitarist Veith Offenbächer (who on this night had no possibility to join the band), returning to the drum stol after he left the band back in 1996 is Kane Svantesson, new front man is Jonas Heidgert (also in Dragonland) who got one pair of mighty lungs and of course “new” is also guitarist Mikael Åberg…well new might be the wrong word since he has been a member in Destiny the past eleven years, but this is his first apperance on an album.
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After the pre-listen of the album the audience were given the band takes on the stage with and starts the set with Nothing Left To Fear. The fact that its been nearly a decade since they been onstage doesn’t show at all as we get full power from the start with their dark rock sound, as they describe themselves, a sound that are very significant for Destiny. Jonas Heidgert show early on and several times through the gig why he’s the new singer in Destiny, those metal screams are all in control and fits the music very well. Heidgert who has named both Michael Kiske, James LaBrie and Bruce Dickinson as influences make it quite apparent throughout the show even if he got his own style of singing you can hear where he comes from.
There’s no doubt Destiny starts of with the power that a metal band should have. Personally, I think the show take off a few songs into this mini concert. The band has decided to play six songs from the new release, Climate Change. The album includes nine re-recordings of old songs and five songs that has not been recorded previously although the songs has been around for a while.

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Stefan Björnshög never set them fingers to rest. His playing is very melodic and the band really has no need of a second guitarist. Devil in the Dark is written with a passage that presents a melodic bass solo and Björnshög play this without a flaw while Kane Svantesson puts his double pedals to work, takes the intensity its climax.
Sabotage are a personal favorite of mine perhaps because I discovered the band when the song got released at first. Sabotage also got an quite easy vocal melody to remember it’s not that progressive as many others Destiny songs and on Sabotage it’s to their advantage.
The band finishes its regular set with the song Lead Into Gold, a personal favorite of Heidgert, a song with frenetic tempo and Svantessons double pedals really feels in the chest. Guitarist Michael Åberg, who by the way has a really cool charisma and knows exactly how to pose on stage. Åberg with his long hair would fit in any melodic rock bands ala 1988 shows his dexterity and top off his performance with some shredding.
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As previously mentioned, the band had decided only to play 6 songs but after the warm reception from the faithful audience they decide to play their only? song with Swedish lyrics, a tribute to the football team IFK Göteborg, the first song recorded with the three members at front onstage.
Stefan Björnshög told me that they wanted first to launch a new album before new gig bookings would be made. Bjönshög also announce that a new album, Global Warming, is almost done and it will be released during fall 2017.
Destiny has made a performance above expectations, I do understand why they call their music dark rock. The album Climate Change is now published and are available to buy physical and/or streaming on a site like Spotify.

Although we are not a traditional Metal Webbzine I personally like lots of different music genres. We’ve had reviews with both Evergrey and Cloudscape before which should be seen as a clear indication not to forget to give yourself a good dose of metal.

Nothing Left to Fear
Duke of Darkness
Living Dead
Devil in the Dark
Sabotage
Lead into Gold

Encore:
Förväntan Stiger