Friday, February 20, 2015

ECLIPSE: "Armageddonize"

Rating: RRRR+
Label: Frontiers 2015
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

"Now I'm living for the first time. I will never walk away. Now I'm living, living like I'm dying everyday". Easier said than done to be honest and clearly not what your doctor ordered? Then again, why the hell not? Listening to "Armageddonize" and its power ballad where the above mentioned quote is taken from, the much needed break and breather from the massive overkill of sonic melodic hard rock on display. Nope. It's really NOT about softies and slow numbers since there's plenty of uplifting uptempo tracks and merely the one ballad (but what a great ballad!!).

The album kicks off in a decent mood and tempo. "I Don't Wanna Say I'm Sorry", feature great guitar work and the riff is coming at ya' fast as Jake E Lee with a terrible touch of the runs. Super catchy hook and punch line and it's all a very intense and fun experience. This being said, the chorus part of following track, "Stand On Your Feet", slightly disappointing considering the verse and fun uptempo formula. Again, excellent guitar work and tone. I especially enjoy the splendido furioso of tracks such as "Blood Enemies" (lovely 'Gary Moore' intro and solo), "Wide Open", "Love Bites", "Caught Up In The Rush", "All Died Young", since they all feature the extra special ingredients which a lot of melodic hard rock albums are lacking nowadays... namely attitude and the aggressive production. Edgy loud guitars and sing a long melodies - works like a charm every time.

So don't go thinking it's some kind of bland softies platter as nuthin' could be further from the truth. Eclipse and Mårtensson, Henriksson, Ulfstedt, Bäck, manage to remove all the sappy layers as the quality of the band's performance can only be described as excellent. Sure. Every now and then. The reused melody and rock n roll cliché. Still the final verdict has to be highly recommended. However, are you really supposed to 'Eat This' as written on the front sticker? Now that's definitely not what your doctor recommended. Yours truly recommend you to take a healthy dose of "Armageddonize" though (even if I prefer the title of guitarmageddon). As close as you ever get to 5R's without actually being 5R's :)

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