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ECLIPSE Are You Ready To Rock Frontiers Records (2008)

Swedish hard rockers Eclipse, whose second album appeared in 2004, are back with an album whose very title is guaranteed to appeal to this website! With the aid of guest musicians, the remaining permanent members (singer and multi-instrumentalist Erik Martensson and guitarist Magnus Henriksson) have crafted an album that lives up to its name.

Although Martensson has a touch of Joey Tempest in his voice, the style is not overtly Scandinavian but harks back to the heyday of American-sounding late 80's hard rock- comparisons that sprang to mind were Dokken- especially on opener Breaking My Heart Again, Van Halen and more obscure acts like Baton Rouge or Heavens Edge.

The album's biggest strength is a series of memorable choruses with the likes of Hometown Calling, Wylde(sic) One, Young Guns and 2 Souls guaranteed to lodge in your brain for days. Unbreakable has a touch of Bon Jovi to it, while occasionally (Under the Gun, Hard Time Loving You) they step up the speed to an extent almost verging on power metal. But the crowning glory for me was To Mend a Broken Heart, with a killer chorus followed by an even catchier guitar refrain. To quote a famous Kerrang-ism, the album boasts more hooks than a school cloakroom.

Of course it has all been done a thousand times before, but rarely with such style, swagger and panache. I can't remember listening to a more enjoyable album in ages.


Review by Andy Nathan

Best of 2008


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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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