Perfection! I could listen to Erik Martensson sing and Magnus Henriksson play guitar all week long. Eclipse delivered one of the great melodic rock albums with Are You Ready To Rock, building on the sound their first two albums established.
Then in 2012 they turned it up a notch for Bleed & Scream, the sound heavier, the sonic impact of the production even more powerful. I rated it their best album ever and gave them a perfect 100.
If I could go to 101 I’d do so, as this album is even better. In every way.
There is just so much joy in listening to this album. This is everything I love about melodic hard rock. Monster production; designed to be played at stupid volumes; intricate; brilliant songs that evoke emotion and adrenaline; musical performances that blow your mind and vocals that are just perfectly crafted for this type of music.
I really have to single Erik out here for his out-of-this-world vocal performance. He’s always been a great singer, but this album has to launch him into the annals of the legends. Yeah, I know I’m hyperventilating, but they really are that good.
And the songs – so damn likable and so amazingly catchy.
Armageddonize is the perfect mix of the melodic side of Are You Ready To Rock with the power and intensity of Bleed And Scream and is undoubtedly the band’s best album to date.
I Don't Wanna Say I'm Sorry - After a brief build up, we are away with one of the catchiest hard rockers that Eclipse has delivered yet. It has all the energy and sonic impact of Bleed & Scream, but the chorus is a monster AOR anthem. The riffs run fast, the power unmistakable. Erik Martensson sounds amazing and Magnus slays on guitar. The rhythm section is just as powerful as the sonically brilliant last album.
The opening track runs straight into the even heavier Stand On Your Feet. The verse features some mighty vocals before a high impact chorus blasts through. The riffing is furious and the drumming impeccable. And it's as catchy as hell once again.
The Storm starts with an acoustic guitar before the song literally explodes with part of the chorus hook. The power is immense and Erik’s vocals are simply unbelievable. A tense verse builds to a huge chorus that just powers along. Simply glorious! Impossible to get out of your head afterwards.
Blood Enemies starts with a long slow bluesy guitar solo, the tension builds to an explosive burst of energy where the track goes full throttle, one of the heaviest Eclipse tracks yet. Once again Magnus shreds while Erik almost blows his voice with a scream. That aspect of the song is one of the album highlights, but then the awesome chorus takes it over the top. Once again, pure hard rock perfection.
Wide Open is simply one of the best songs Eclipse has ever written. Ever. It’s fricken glorious. I can’t get enough of it. A furious beat, a melodic verse, rampaging guitars and big vocals…and then that chorus. Wow. Wow. Wow.
Live Like I'm Dying is the album’s big ballad and what a monsterous slice of melodic moodiness this is. The slow burner builds from a restrained start, to a huge epic finish with big everything – guitars, vocals and beat. An epic power hard rock ballad. Great guitar solo! Perfection again!
The intro to Breakdown reminds me a little of Blue Murder’s brilliant Jelly Roll and the track has a certain bluesy groove. At first you think ‘oh, the chorus isn’t really there’, but then it appears and all is well with the world. Another powerful vocal and a left turn for the album in general, it provides a good change of pace.
The album returns to the script with the straight forward, double time rocker Love Bites. This is another Eclipse classic with a very melodic verse driven by a frantic beat and then a simple, but utterly infectious chorus. Killer song.
Caught Up In That Rush is another high energy, guitar heavy rocker with similar characteristics to the rest of the album – pounding rhythm, melodic, yet powerful vocals and a killer harmony filled chorus. These guys are just fecking brilliant.
One Life – My Life is somewhat less sonically bombastic, but equally as engaging. A moody verse and an angst filled heavier chorus. It’s melody and power all the way.
All Died Young closes the album, not with a ballad, but with one of the heaviest and fastest tracks of the album. Take no prisoners as the double kick drum goes into overdrive. A simple, but effective chorus and riffs galore!
At 42 minutes and 11 songs, this is the perfect length for an album packed with quality songs.
It begs to be played again once completed, leaving the listener wishing for more, but secretly happy that every track is a classic and at no point is there any let up in energy or quality.
Eclipse is one of several bands out of Sweden that just “get it”.
The American artists and others around the world need to sit up and pay attention to what is being done there, because albums like this are creating a legacy of music for fans that is close to unbeatable.
Stand up and take a bow guys. This is a classic album that demands to be purchased. It has been in high rotation (in fact, almost constant rotation) for me since early December and shows no sign of being swapped out any time soon.