Scandinavia, and Sweden in particular, has been a hotbed of Melodic Rock for many a good year, and the new bands keep popping out from the shelter of the native spruce trees. You could argue that there is melodic gold deep in those Swedish mountains.
Since their beginnings in 2020, Arctic Rain have introduced a new keyboard player and drummer into the fold. Today, Arctic Rain comprise Tobias Jonsson (vocals), Magnus Berglund (guitars), Kaspar Dahlqvist (keyboards), Gert Daun (bass) and Richard Tonyson (drums). Founding members
Jonsson and Berglund state that they wanted to emulate eighties and nineties bands and produce songs with strong Melodic Rock vibes, based around the sort of tasteful instrumental harmonies that we associate with the likes of Whitesnake, Foreigner and Def Leppard... and they have succeeded.
This sophomore album follows on from 2020’s ‘The One’, and shows a heavier, rockier side, whilst maintaining a deep, bolder melodic vibe with epic harmonies. This will attract a new group of followers, whilst still appealing to the existing fan base. The album cover features a photograph of the band members in a Viking-like pose, with their instruments in hand, rather than axes and shields; rather fitting, indeed.
The record has eleven solid tunes, all featuring a driving rhythm section, overlayed by duelling keys and soaring tasteful guitar solos, with the highlight being the sumptuous harmonies led by Jonsson, all of which means a delightful collection of Melodic Rock tunes.
Opener ‘One World’ gently lulls you into a false sense of security, before exploding with Berglund’s stunning guitar playing and Jonsson’s powerful singing. The scene is set, and there is no let-up throughout the opus. They released the punchy ballad ‘Fire In My Eyes’ as a single and video; it has more catchy hooks than a deep sea trawler, so give this a spin/watch and you will rush out and buy the album.
Dahlqvist, with his black painted fingernails, tinkles those ivories to great effect on the ballads ‘The Road Goes On’ and ‘Believe’. ‘Out Of Time’ and ‘Laughing In The Rain’ have Berglund stepping to the fore, shredding his guitar.
There is no doubt that Frontiers know a good Melodic or AOR Rock band when they spot one, and Arctic Rain are a fabulous fit to their stables. It’s time to dash out, get your hair permed again....and hold up those devil horns in the air with delight.
Reviewer: Ken Roberts
Genre: Melodic Rock
Issue Reviewed In: #101
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