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Eclipse: Bleed and Scream

Eclipse, for the uninitiated feature Erik Mårtensson - Bleeding vocals, guitar & bass, Magnus Henriksson - Screaming lead guitar, Robban Bäck - Roaring drums and Johan Berlin- Epic synthesisers. You'll note the adjectives in there which give the idea that Bleed and Scream is some kind of Manowar over-the- top metalfest. It isn't, but it is the epitome of modern, muscular AOR. Many of you will remember Erik Mårtensson as the brains behind Toby Hitchcock's Mercury's Down and Bleed and Scream mines a very similar vein.

Many have already compared this to Whitesnake's 1987 which is fair enough on tracks like "Ain't Dead Yet" and "Battlegrounds", however, Bleed and Scream can stand on its own thank you very much. The title track is worth the much vaunted entry price on its own and the aforementioned "Ain't Dead Yet" rocks mightily and tellingly is the weakest track on the album but is still very, very good. The album is surprisingly heavy thanks to a pristine production job and punchy guitars and if "Battlegrounds" isn't one of the best songs of 2012 then I'm a native of the Netherlands. Highly, highly recommended for those who like their melodic rock with a touch of power.

Track Listing:

  1. Wake Me Up
  2. Bleed And Scream
  3. Ain't Dead Yet
  4. Battlegrounds
  5. A Bitter Taste
  6. Falling Down
  7. S.O.S
  8. Take Back The Fear
  9. The Unspoken Heroes
  10. About To Break
  11. After The End Of The World

Added: October 13th 2012
Reviewer: Simon Bray
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2986
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Eclipse: Bleed and Scream
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2012-10-13 10:07:46
My Score:

It is to Frontiers Records' eternal credit that while they have in recent years hoovered up just about all the established headline AOR and melodic hard rock from yesteryear, they have continued to invest in new, up and coming talent. Take for example Erik Martensson, who has over the past couple of years contributed either his songwriting, vocals or guitar to W.E.T., Shining Line, Toby Hitchcock, Jimi Jamison (Survivor) and of course Eclipse. A reasonably astounding list in anyone's book, making him one of the hottest properties in this scene right now! Martensson isn't exactly brand new to the genre, with Eclipse having released their debut over a decade ago, becoming ever stronger through to new releaseBleed & Scream, which is album number four. However right now he seems to have the Midas touch, which he has thankfully saved more than a little of for his own outfit, Eclipse.

Bleed & Scream is a rarity these days, being the sound of a band allowed the time - and releases - to really mature into something rather special. It is poised, confident, aware of what its strengths are and more importantly, able to act upon them. Yes, as ever in the AOR/MHR circle, there are reference points - Neal Schon (Journey) springs to mind on occasion, Whitesnake are never a million miles away and Eden's Curse would make for perfect touring partners (if they could find themselves a vocalist...) - but this is no tired retread, or barely disguised tribute act. Instead Eclipse bristle with energy, bound with vigour and stride with belief in a way that few bands of this ilk achieve anymore and Bleed & Scream is all the better for it. "Ain't Dead Yet" marries catchy hooks to meaty guitars, "Wake Me Up" pounds and stomps with lethal, yet glistening intent, while "After The End Of The World" struts, preens and demands attention with deserved confidence.

Eclipse aren't a one man show, Bleed & Scream is a proper band effort, with Magnus Henriksson slamming out the scorching solos, Johan Berlin building up the keyboard led atmosphere, while Robban Back thumps the tubs for all he's worth - Martensson also provides bass. Together they become a glorious squad of melodic intent that have you hooked form the off and never release your attention until they are done.

Another winner from Frontiers, another winner from Martensson, and a complete triumph for Eclipse!

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