March the 24th sees the release of Swedish melodic hard rockers ECLIPSE new CD "Monumentum" out on Frontiers Records, just released in Japan with a bonus track. "Monumentum" had so much to live up to as the band's last 2 albums have been bordering on perfection both producing all killer / no filler, with track after track of melodic rock full of huge choruses.
Well, let me tell you that Erik Mårtensson & Co doesn't disappoint, delivering melodies from every pore, big guitars and pounding drums all wrapped in a production to die for.
Simply put, every single track in "Monumentum" stands alone and that is so rare. You can put the CD on at any point and the track is full of everything Melodic Hard Rock music should be about.
Drums crack, bass rumbles and the guitar riffs explode with electricity whle the solos are full of technique, tone and melody and all with a production that breathes and let's you hear it all and you must play it loud.
Results very hard to pick out highlights as I tend to when it's all so strong. This is a CD that could be like Hysteria with 7 or 8 singles. I normally say it starts with a 1-2 off well this one starts 1-11.
'Vertigo' was the first track released and has all of Eclipse's trademark rocking punchiness and huge chorus with a hook to catch a blue whale.
'Never Look Back' was the second track we heard with woah woah's from the off and Erik's vocal delivery exquisite with an added extra touch of harshness on a couple of occasions. Then onto the chorus his voice is golden as the backing vocals harmonies on 'woah woahs' alongside the guitar crunch. The drumming is just relentless with a mid-song slowing off pace so when it all kicks back in it is even more powerful. Going to be massive in the live setting.
'Killing Me' sees a slight slowing of pace in the verse before it all kicks in with Erik again owning the chorus. 'The Downfall Of Eden' sees an electric picked intro before the band hit hard but dip for the first chorus with Erik's vocal to the fore and a lengthy chorus melody.
'Hurt' is the ballad with Erik showing off his vocal range in a haunting power ballad of the highest order with a guitar solo to match.
'Jaded' shows the quality of the album that 3 songs have been released and all are stellar yet when I hit play on this one with Erik's vocal alongside the ballsy riff it went even higher. Pure Eclipse melody, balls, attitude and a chorus that will have tonsils exploding. You will want to press play again.
'Born To Lead' has another huge guitar riff and chorus and is 100% Eclipse and love the rollocking guitar riff and pounding drums after the chorus that then dips as the verse starts again. Henriksen attacks with his fiery solo, always concise and effective.
'For Better Or Worse' is a melodic rocker tour de force with a pre-chorus slow off pace and yet another chorus begging to be sang back at the band by baying crowds.
'No Way Back' sees Henriksen's fast fingered guitar solo in the intro that continues throughout as a melody line alongside the main guitar riff that is epic. Maybe the heaviest guitar riff Eclipse have ever done but playing it with a hugely melodic chorus it is fantastic.
'Night Comes Crawling' sees more woah woahs and a stop start guitar riff with Crusner's drumming prowess always evident and another hugely melodic chorus with backing vocals to the fore. Erik's writing just gets better and better as every track reveals itself to melodic rock heaven.
'Black Rain' has a slightly slower pace but that makes it's guitar riff even heavier and just listen to that wonderful bass line as the verse unfolds too. Big big chorus with Erik's vocal going a little darker.
Then there's a great acoustic version of 'The Downfall Of Eden' exclusive to this Japanese Edition.
"Monumentum" will be at the top of most 'Best Of' lists of the year and sees Eclipse showcasing that they are at the top of their game, and today, they are one of the defining Melodic Hard Rock acts.
This is another superlative album by this mighty Swedish combo, and if there is one CD you have to buy this month, this is the one without a doubt.
01 - Vertigo
02 - Never Look Back
03 - Killing Me
04 - The Downfall Of Eden
05 - Hurt
06 - Jaded
07 - Born To Lead
08 - For Better Or For Worse
09 - No Way Back
10 - Night Comes Crawling
11 - Black Rain
Japan Bonus Track:
12. The Downfall Of Eden (Acoustic Version)
Erik Mårtensson - lead vocals, guitar
Magnus Henriksson - guitar
Philip Crusner - drums
Magnus Ulfstedt - bass
BUY IT !