Sunday, March 19, 2017

ECLIPSE: ”Monumentum”

Rating: RRRRR
Label: Frontiers
Review by Kimmo Toivonen

With three fine albums released back to back, not to mention vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Erik Mårtensson’s extracurricular activities, there was a little doubt crawling into my mind… can they still deliver? Has the well ran dry? The first single ”Vertigo” was good, but not so good that these doubts would have gone away. But they should have. ”Monumentum”  is monumental, phenomenal and beautiful. The worst thing about it is that it sounds very much like an Eclipse album. And since it IS an Eclipse album, that isn’t a bad thing at all.

If you were hoping that Eclipse would have reinvented themselves with a new sound and style, then you’ll be disappointed. There are some subtle new influences but basically this is a continuation of the previous three albums - energetic, hook-laden melodic hard rock. If you’re familiar with those albums, you’ll know that the emphasis is on HARD ROCK, they like to write guitar-driven uptempo songs with attitude. And that’s what you’ll get here. But you’ll also get superb melodies and razor-sharp hooks.

The band’s guitar hero Magnus Henriksson is on fire, so there’s plenty of first class axemanship for those of you who crave for that. I do enjoy his work, but for me it’s the songs that count, and I don’t think that Eclipse have released a more solid set of songs than this one. Almost every song is worthy of a ”single” status, even the heaviest, hardest-hitting songs of the album are equipped with great melodies and choruses. Interestingly, the aforementioned first single ”Vertigo” is probably the weakest track on the album, a ”standard Eclipse song”… I would have chosen any of the other songs to be the first sample… but it’s still a pretty decent song.

My personal favourites include ”Never Look Back”, ”Killing Me”, ”No Way Back” and damn, I could list most of the songs. Eclipse has done it again, make no mistake about it.

PS. Isn’t it funny that two albums released on the same label at the same time, both have a song called ”Hurt” on them?

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