Review: Coastland Ride – Distance

CR - Distance
Record Info Rating: 8/10
Label: Avenue Of Allies Reviewed by: “AORSweden”
Producer: Coastland Ride
Release date: March 10, 2017
Line-up: Marcus Nordenberg (vo, keys), Anders Rybank (gu, ba, keys, prog.), Mikael Bohlin (gu, keys, prog.)
Additional musicians: Sven Larsson (gu-solos)

This is the 3rd record from the swedish AOR / Westcoast-band since their debute in 2003, the first in 6 years. It’s still the same 3 core-members (se above) as from the start, with a great addition (particulary on the live-scene) in guitar-maestro Sven Larsson, maybe best known from his days in Street Talk. Stylewise it’s a little harder again, as it was with the last record, but it’s still in the more “lightweight” AOR. Since the last record the band has played live 2 times, both times with us from PlanetAOR present, and as a liveband (including Sven Larsson) they are really good. Now on to this record…

It opens up strongly with Winds, one of the top 3-songs on the record, a song that sets the standard for how the songs are built up (with the choruses as the main thing). Saviour and Love Is On Your Mind follows, with the latter being very similar soundwise to fellow swedes Sonic Station, a great song. Dead For Seven Days and the beautiful ballad Here In My Heart is next up. Another highlight, Eye Of The Storm, is next, a nice uptempo song with a great guitarsolo from Sven Larsson. Nation Of Grace got to be the heaviest song the guys have done, for a (once) westcoast-band to write such a song is surprising, top 3-song for sure, it brilliant. The tempo goes down again with Spotlight Sun, a song more common for the guys. Up next is the best song of the record for me, the magnificient Higher Ground, a perfectly keyboard-driven song that has it all. Princess Little Wonderland is another heavy song, once again with at superb guitarsolo. Another great ballad, Hardcoded Life, is next, Marcus voice fits really good here. Last up is Reasons To Try, which ends a really great record.

To sum it up, this is a really good record from the guys, easily the best one they’ve done yet, and I do like the previous 2. The songwriting are better, the voice from Marcus are better, but mostly it’s the production who stands out compared to the previous ones, way better. The including of Sven Larsson turned out to be a really good decision, he add another dimension to it, even if it’s “just” for the guitarsolos. If I had say something bad, it’s that the drums are programmed, which I always complain about. The band has evolved and are now more of a AOR-band than Westcoast, it’s tougher here. It’s a record that are well worth buying.