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Born in the late 60's, Chesy hails from a Welsh mining village with a long name and was pretty glad when he got the Hell out of there. He got into Rock/Metal in about 1980, thanks to a TISWAS related incident (Rainbow video for All Night Long) and thankfully has never looked back. Chesy often sang solo in the school choir, but thanks to a puberty related incident his voice is now completely bolloxed, although in his own head Paul thinks he sounds like a blend of Coverdale and Dio (R.I.P). He was brought up on the classics - Deep Purple, Rainbow, Thin Lizzy, Rush, Whitesnake and loved melodic rock and the Hair Bands of the 80's. (Nowadays, he has progressed a little and prefers a more technical and/or progressive metal - Dream Theater, Rush, Symphony X, Porcupine Tree, Pain Of Salvation, Spock's Beard. He hates Black and Death Metal (can't stand the grunting) but for some unknown reason loves the magnificent Opeth! He wont stop this blog until his beloved FM finally play the likes of the NEC as a headlining act!!!

Sunday 8 February 2015

Eclipse - Armageddonize Album Review

There a little known group of people, lets call them a tribe of infinite wisdom and excellent all round good taste, who prowl around the world virtually unknown as an ethnic group. Apart from an offshoot faction in the US that still think its 1986, the Euro section is a much more underground affair. These are the people who avidly follow Melodic Rock/AOR/Hair Metal and their high priest is an Italian Doge by the name of Serafino Perugino.

The said tribe is loyal, faithful, and generally a supporting bunch. Think Mormons only without the giving away part of your salary to your fellow followers. That said, the modern movement is a bit thin on the ground for top quality. Where is the next generation of bands that could fill a decent size club, never mind a theatre or an arena? Ill tell ya where….at the top of the bunch are 2 Swedish bands vying for that position of the alpha band. In the red corner there is H.E.A.T., and in the blue corner, Eclipse. Last year HEAT (for me) had the best melodic rock album of 2014, so can Eclipse dominate the genre with Armageddonize in 2015? ABSO-LUCKING-FUTELY!

For anyone who has missed the band that used to called Whitesnake in their money making prime (c.1987) then Eclipse fill that gap perfectly. Not only that, they have one of the finest, singer/ songwriter / producers out there today. The driving force being Erik Mårtensson and his partner in crime Magnus Henriksson. At least with Mårtensson, his songs don’t just revolve around his cock!

‘I Don’t Wanna Say I’m Sorry’ it like spilling a beer on a Geordie. It stands up, punches you in the face and definitely doesn’t say he is sorry! It has its statement set for this song and the rest of the album; ridiculously and immediately catchy with great hooks. ’Stand On You Feet’ is another slice of annoying greatness. Believe me when I say that this album takes just one listen to become instantly memorable. The Storm follows the same formula. Get past the acoustic opening and BOOM! The chorus is right there in your frontal lobe for the day. Everything so far has been great, and then comes ‘Blood Enemies’. It shows Eclipse at their heaviest and is one of the best on the album. It’s like a ‘battle’ song that Eclipse do ever so well. ‘Wide Open’ is what it does do your head. It blows the fucker….wide open! Magnus’ guitar, Erik’s vox and THAT chorus = utmärkt! The frenetic pace is broken up with the huge ballad, ‘Live Like I’m Dying’. Starting slow, then building up to a crescendo. If something is worth doing, its worth doing it BIG.

I guess a lot of people will make similarities of Breakdown with Blue Murder’s Jelly Roll. Just the opening, but it is startlingly similar. You half expect John Sykes to kick in with the vocals. Love Bites seed Mårtensson channel his inner Coverdale with an opening sound of a trouser zip being pulled. It’s a fast tempo upbeat rocker. I’m not doing the songs I am missing an injustice, its just that you don’t have to write about every single song. So to the final track ‘All Died Young’. Its 100mph/160kph (if you’re Swedish) fast and furious way to finish proceedings, and rounds it all off perfectly.

Armageddonize sees Eclipse eclipsing not only their past, but also the competition. USA take note, whatever you think you can do; Sweden, and Eclipse in the main, are certainly doing it better.

Catch them on tour in the UK very soon. If I were them, Id play the whole bloody lot.

Jävla underbar!

Score – 95/100 (will probably by 100 after repeated listens)

Line Up:
Erik Mårtensson
Magnus Henriksson
Robban Bäck
Magnus Ulfstedt

Track Listing:
1. I Don’t Wanna Say I’m Sorry
2. Stand On Your Feet
3. The Storm
4. Blood Enemies
5. Wide Open
6. Live Like I’m Dying
7. Breakdown
8. Love Bites
9. Caught Up In The Rush
10. One Life – My Life

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