Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Eclipse: "Wired"

Label: Frontiers

Rating: RRRRr

Review by Kimmo Toivonen

Eclipse are definitely one of the most reliable bands of the melodic hard rock genre - since their third album they’ve released one quality album after another. Some might say they’re writing the same album over and over, but I don’t think so. They certainly have a trademark sound and apart from a few sidesteps, they have stayed on their chosen path. Then again, under the umbrella of ”Eclipse sound” there’s enough variety to keep things interesting.

Just like on their previous album, the three first songs on ”Wired” take no prisoners. The trio of ”Roses On Your Grave”, ”Dying Breed” and ”Saturday Night (Hallelujah)”  is a breath-taking display of Eclipse’s hard-edged brand of melodic rock - uptempo, hook-laden and riff-tastic, what ever that means! A hat trick of hits. The aggressive, almost punky vibe of ”Roses” shows that Eclipse are not your average pink and fluffy AOR act, while ”Dying Breed” is bound to be a crowdpleaser and a massive shout-along anthem. ”Saturday Night” is another anthem, lyrically more of a happy party song though. 

One more of these frantic bangers would have been too much, so the band first slow it down a little with ”Run For Cover”. It’s a good song, a nice midtempo track but not necessarily a future Eclipse classic. Then they slow it down a lot with the ballad ”Carved In Stone”, which didn’t do much for me after the first couple of spins. It has turned out to be a real grower, and I now quite like it. There’s something eerie, mystical about it.

After a couple of mellower tracks, ”Twilight” takes us back to the vibe of the three first tracks, and it’s a killer track with plenty of hooks. ”Poison Inside My Heart” I would call ”a standard Eclipse song”, a decent album track, nothing more, nothing less. On a weaker album it might be a standout, but the competition is tough. 

”Bite The Bullet” is a curious song - the verses are melodic and nice, while the chorus is pure Accept… followed by an almost country’ish guitar interlude, followed by a monk choir… they sure have packed a lot into these four minutes.

”We Didn’t Come To Lose” reminds me a little bit of D’Molls’ forgotten glam classic ”777” with the Who-oh-oh’s and  ”wewillrockyou” drums. An anthem, but not quite as catchy as some of the earlier ones. ”Things We Love” has a bit of an Irish/Celtic/Folk vibe with Thin Lizzy-like guitar work. 

Just as I’m wondering whether the band has run out of ammo, they come with all guns blazing and offer us ”Dead Inside”. This one’s a melodic rocker with touches of Pretty Maids and some perfectly placed keyboards in the chorus. Funny how something so seemingly insignificant as a few keyboard chords can elevate a song to the next level, but at least for me they do in this case.

While this album doesn’t get the full 5R’s from me like the previous two did, it’s still a fantastic piece of work and surely one of 2021’s winners. The streak continues.

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