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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: Monumentum out Eclipses Eclipse!

Swedish melodic hard rockers Eclipse released what many regarded as album of the year Armageddonize in 2015.
To equal or even top that was going to be difficult but in new release “Monumentum” not only have they done that, they may have blown it out of the water...it’s that good! Eclipse have developed a melodic, hard and heavy sound that grabs you by the balls from the start and doesn’t let go of its grip.

Fast tempo opener ‘Vertigo’ is broken up with solid riffs and has a nice lyrical play on words comparing the world as having vertigo spinning round and round.

“Never Look Back” has a heavy driving riff with a massive hook and chorus. A slower middle section adds to the song as it picks up the pace again.

A number of songs on the album have darker and painful lyrics, ’Never Look Back’ being one of them but it’s more noticeable on ‘Killing Me’. A slightly slower tempo song initially it switches between fast and slow tempo and the vocal delivery from Erik is in a slightly lower register. A great underlying riff and harmonised background vocals make this a killer song with a nice solo from Magnus.

“The Downfall of Eden”  continues the darker theme. A serious song about the Earths plight with lines such as ‘let the children be our judge’ gives you the general idea. A mid to fast tempo number with Celtic sound in places it has with most Eclipse songs that powerful bass and drum combination from Magnus Ulfstedt and Philip Crusner.

‘Hurt’ is next up and is a power ballad with a difference as it’s about a break up. It fills out from about 1min 30s in and features a powerful, moodier vocal delivery filled with pain with a melodic solo that is pure gold.

‘Jaded’ has a guitar/vocal intro that builds into a good old fashioned rocker with a great heavy riff throughout. Again there are deeper lyrics to this song.

A typical Eclipse song has power combined with melody, huge hooks and choruses and a driving rhythm section and this is well demonstrated on ‘Born to Lead’ which features a cracking solo.

Before you know it you are at track 8 ‘For Better or For Worse’. A slightly more modern sounding song. It’s basically a love song but a fast paced one with more great guitar work.

The heavier ‘No Way Back’ follows. A fast paced guitar intro leads to that heavier sound which is driven along with a great bridge into the excellent solo. The abrupt end just adds to its impact.

‘Night Comes Crawling’ continues in the same vein but is a slightly catchier song but still a typical Eclipse tune full of power, rhythm and great lead and background vocals.

The whole album has been building to the climactic ‘Black Rain’. The heaviest song on the album which has a classic bass and drum section. With its killer chorus, guitar solo and a nice keyboard outro it’s possibly the best track on the album.

With the ‘Armageddonize’ sound coupled with the darker, moodier lyrics “Monumentum” has raised the bar for this genre of music and with Martensson and Henricksson becoming a writing force to be reckoned with this album should see Eclipse playing higher up festival gigs than they currently are and hopefully gain a wider audience outside of Europe. They certainly deserve it, a pre-order must!!!

Review by Andy Gillen

Eclipse are :

Erik MÃ¥rtensson – lead vocals, guitars

Magnus Henricksson – guitars

Philip Crusner – drums

Magnus Ulfstedt – bass

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