From time to time arrives to my desk some little gems that seems to come from nowhere. This is the case with ETERNAL (OF SWEDEN), a band not much mentioned in the press or known for festival appearances. However, the band aren’t ewcomers into the rock scene, since they have released an indie EP in 2009 and played the local clubs and venues, but never crossed the limits of their homeland.Until now, because their full length debut CD “Chapter I” will arouse much attention for sure.
The style of ETERNAL (OF SWEDEN) is a blend of Euro melodic hard rock and keyboard-oriented melodic metal, with strong influences of the eighties.
Their sound is powerful yet extremely melodic, think Pretty Maids meets Royal Hunt meets Axel Rudi Pell, but the band has a particular way to arrange their songs resulting in a very personal and original product.
Sometimes they remind you ’80s MSG, mostly because singer Christer Gards has some hints of Graham Bonnet. The guy is the owner of potent pipes easily reaching high notes with total control, and together with his brother Bosse Gards on guitars are the core force of the band.
But we have here tons of keyboards / synths as well, used in a clever way, and a more than solid rhythm section.
The album opens perfectly with “You Can’t Break Us”, which after a mysterious keyboard intro explodes into a heavy and melodic stomping melodic hard rocker full of razor guitars and swirling keyboards all over. Killer tune.
“Human” starts with modern synths, and then blistering guitars takes the scene together with pomp keyboards decorating the melody. The chorus is catchy and contagious, with a very good vocal performance.
On “Virus” the band turns more melodic metal in the Allen/Lande way and even as the more commercial Helloween. Again, the vocals here are great and in your face, really in the Graham Bonnet style. “Start Of A New Era” is a solid melodic semi-midtempo rocker with fat guitars and orchestrated keys.
“Scream Higher” is one of my favourites from this album. A commercial melodic hard rocker which sounds like H.E.A.T on steroids and going epic, with chunky arrangements, a catchy chorus line and passionate lead & background vocals.
“Heroes” gets you back to the eighties with its pumping rhythm, followed by the dark, melodic and sometimes metalized “Dead Or Alive”.
“Stay The Night” is another winner, maybe the best track in this complete and consistent album. It’s a very commercial, very Swedish melodic hard rock song. The chorus is infectious, and the song structure recalls nineties Europe and Pretty Maids. Awesome song.
“Cross The Line” is a keyboard festival, a track with a rapid fire and mounted on a sympho pattern very well rounded.
Closer “The Thing” is great. The beautiful keys of the beginning are crushed by a monster guitar riff and power drums. The refrain on this song is simply perfect, and the guitar solo rocks.
“Chapter I” is one of the surprises of the year for me, as is the extremely professionalism and talent displayed by Eternal Of Sweden.
This album includes some truly dazzling pieces of melodic hard/metal played with passion and a personal, captivating style. Don’t be fooled by the cheap-looking artwork, the music and the punch in this CD are awesome.
Singer Christer Gärds is a revelation, and his brother on the guitars is a killer machine of riffs and melodies. They are the main force in this band, but the real orchestrator here is keyboardist Pontus Lekaregard providing not only loads of wonderful keyboards / synths, he has also handled the production with brilliance.
Don’t miss Eternal Of Sweden, a talented Swedish five-piece with a great present and a bright future.
01 – You Can’t Break Us
02 – Human
03 – Virus
04 – Start Of A New Era
05 – Scream Higher
06 – Heroes
07 – Dead Or Alive
08 – Ray Of Light
09 – Stay The Night
10 – Cross The Line
11 – The Thing
Christer Gards – Vocals
Bosse Gards – Guitars
Anders ‘Slabben’ Sandstrom – Bass
Pelle Hindén – Drums
Pontus Lekaregard – Keyboards
ETERNAL OF SWEDEN – Chapter I (2012)
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