Wednesday, October 22, 2014

GRAND DESIGN: "Thrill Of The Night"

Rating: RRRR
Label: AORheaven 2014
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

This was the album with which the Swedes of Grand Design would break on through to the other side and thus bringing down the reign of extremely high-pitch vocals and Def Leppard rock for the next century. However, they no longer sound like Leppard wannabees (if they ever did? I haven't heard the first couple of albums) and if anything it's the mix of Heavy Pettin, The Poodles, and just the hint of 220 Volt and TNT - early Harnell era.

Then again... the utter mad Glasgow legends of Heavy Pettin sounded an awful lot like Def Lep at times and singer Pelle Saether (ex. Zello, Unchained, Mindjive, Schizophrenic Circus, etc.) work in the same range as Hamie and the Poodles dude (hi-hi-high on emotion). The two guitarists, Dennis Vestman and Janne Stark (Overdrive, Locomotive Breath, etc.) are trading licks and tricks of the melodic NWOBHM tradition throughout the album and drummer Magnus Ulfstedt (Torch, Talisman, Mitch Malloy) bashed skins like as if he friggin' hate drums and wants to kill them all.

They start up the album with "U Got Me Good" and Hamie's probably laughing away in Scotland as it's spot on Heavy Pettin with a healthy dose of Yngwie Malmsteen (the main riff and guitar work). "Rawk N Roll Heart Attack" is more towards Def Lep but in reality it's perhaps more like Dynamite Sex Dose and Glorious Bankrobbers. I'd also like to point out, there's hardly any slick Mutt Lange rock to be found on this record. High N Dry? yeah, to a certain degree. Heavy Pettin, absolutely!

Bloody'ell. I notice that Erik "The Void" MÃ¥rtensson (Eclipse, WET) co-wrote two songs and he's literally everywhere nowadays (thus why I named him 'The Void'). "Thrill Of The Night" is however a very intense, powerful, and catchy album and a LOT better than expected to be perfectly honest. Recommended if you're into above mentioned acts and proper high pitch (melodic metal) vocals.

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