Review: Eclipse – Armageddonize

Eclipse - Armageddonize[avatar user=”Lara” size=”50″ align=”left” /]Eclipse are a swedish melodic hard rock band from Stockholm. The current line up is:

  • Erik Mårtensson (lead vocals, guitar)
  • Magnus Henriksson (lead guitars)
  • Robban Bäck (drums)
  • Magnus Ulfstedt (bass)

I discovered this band only recently, as I do not normally listen to a lot of melodic hard rock these days, but I was totally blown away by this album. A masterpiece for its genre and perhaps not out-of-place in any rock/metal fan CD collection. So good I actually dug out the previous albums, bought a ticket to their Scottish show and even did my first live review with the band – fangirl mode on all the way. Personal taste aside, I firmly believe this band deserve all the exposure they can get. You need to listen to it to believe it. It is just impossible not to hum along or tap your feet… I can not sit still at any of the songs and I am no dancing queen ;)

Few albums make me this thankful and content. There are many talented musicians out there singing their heart out, gracing us with amazing music and Eclipse are definitely one of the finest amongst them.

Armageddonize is packed with powerful hard rock melodies. There is not a single moment you think you want to stop listening to it. It gets you high and drop you down to earth on the notes of the last song – this release has been fuelling my days for a while now. It is a melodic masterpiece that look back at the 80’s great hard rock moments but not in a nostalgic way.

Eclipse deliver a lively hard rock with an incredibly heavy punch and a fresh energy that can only propell this band to music stardom. Their previous Bleed and Scream album of 2012 was a fantastic piece, well received by the critics and public; Armageddonize certainly raises the bar to new heights.

These guys have been in the music business for some time now and they are all great musicians in their own right – together the chemistry is unstoppable. There is nothing dated here, I honestly suggest you give it a spin and find it out for yourself. Producers and main songwriters Erik Mårtensson and Magnus Henriksson have done a sterling job over the years producing and collaborating with names like Jimi Jamison, Adrenaline Rush and the project W.E.T. with Jeff Soto and Robert Sall (Work of Art). Rightly so they are now concentrating in promoting their latest effort.

The album opens with “I Don’t Wanna Say I’m Sorry”, a fabulous hard rock piece of solid pouncing bass and drums, intricate solos and powerful vocal performance. This is just the first of many catchy tunes you will soon find yourself singing along to. The next one up is “Stand On Your Feet”, probably the only one on the album that really reminds me of the 80’s big singles but with the added bonus of Eclipse’s unique sound. It falls very definitely into the rock category rather then the soppy glam/pop come back we are seeing these days.

“The Storm” is a song that gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. The album was recorded around the time when Erik Mårtensson’s father passed away and this song is a bit of that moment in time. The songwriting of all their songs comes for personal experiences and if you have experienced loss (as I have) you might find out some songs talks to you more then others. “Blood Enemies” is next: big choruses, melodic line, stellar rhythmic session from Robban Bäck and Magnus Ulfstedt, roaring guitars from Magnus Henriksson and more quality vocals from Erik Mårtensson (on guitar too).

“Wide Open” and the fantastic ballad “Live Like I’m Dying” follow, the only moment you might get a rest but it is soon over with “Breakdown”. This is the odd one out without being out-of-place. I just love the guitars on this one, the beat, the country feel to it. You might pick up a note or two from Bon Jovi or Motley Crue here but, as you do, they are soon forgotten… they never wrote anything this good anyway!

“Love Bites” is one of my favourites from Armageddonize. It’s a bit heavier on its musicality and I am unsure about the possibility of dancing to it vs headbanging to it… I do both on this one. This was also co-written with the drummer and has all the speed I need and some cool metal guitar effects too. “Caught Up in a Rush”, the bass playing of Magnus Ulfstedt is sublime here. I mean, this man rocks any instrument he plays (drums, guitar and bass). “One Life – My Life” – is it a wah wah sound I hear? Keyboards to round the sound a bit and we soon roll into the closing “All Died Young”, steady double bass drumming, again no slowing down on guitar riffs and tempo here.

Armageddonize is a hell of an album that will please music lovers far and wide across genres. It definitely top over on the rock/heavy side of hard rock. Strong melodic parts yes but definitely not bending for the easy listening overly pop, crowd pleasing, side of rock. Eclipse rocks in their own way and can stand proud of their sound.

We do not rate albums, we write our personal opinions and here you have it: BUY IT and if you have the chance go to their shows, you will thank me for it.

Track list:

  1. I Don’t Wanna Say I’m Sorry
  2. Stand On Your Feet
  3. The Storm
  4. Blood Enemies
  5. Wide Open
  6. Live Like I’m Dying
  7. Breakdown
  8. Love Bites
  9. Caught Up In The Rush
  10. One Life – My Life.
  11. All Died Young

(Japanese edition has a bonus acoustic version of “The Storm”)

Armageddonize is available now, through Frontiers Music srl.

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April 12, 2015 3:51 PM

[…] you can read it here, but I was so blown away by their discography I actually reviewed the album Armageddonize. I also thought to have a go at what turned out to be my first live interview as well. You will […]