Anyone who is of the opinion that Europe's career began and ended with "The Final Countdown" simply has not been paying attention. The Swedish veterans have clearly been making some of the best music of their career in recent years, with Walk the Earth now following up the excellent War of Kings and Bag of Bones in equally grand fashion. The truth of the matter is that the band have long ago left behind their bubblegum pop metal style in favor of a darker, bluesy hard rock sound with more than a few nods to Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, and Black Sabbath, with Walk the Earth again continuing that trend and delivering stellar results.
Opening up wth the heavy rock sounds of the title track, Walk the Earth is off to a great start, the Hammond organ of Mic Michaeli raging, the guitar riffs from John Norum thick and meaty, and Joey Tempest's powerful vocals clear and emotional. "The Siege" rocks hard, as does the snarling "Kingdom United", again with those riffs and Hammond pairing up for a potent duo. Acoustic guitar, piano and Mellotron drift alongside a tender Tempest vocal on the David Bowie inspired "Pictures", while "Election Day" is a clear nod to vintage MkII Deep Purple, Ian Haugland's drums blasting away underneath heavy Hammond/guitar riffs as if this was a long lost track from the Machine Head sessions. Norum cranks up the fuzz for the doom laden "Wolves", his riffs menacing and his solo blazing, and "GTO" clearly reminds of Europe's underrated Wings of Tomorrow album, a raging heavy rocker with a potent Tempest vocal and hard hitting arrangements. The band once again show how lethal an act they are with "Haze", another massive doomy dirge that is a must hear for any Black Sabbath fan, while the speedier "Whenever You're Ready" picks up the pace a bit, Haugland & John Leven's tumultuous rhythms fueling some spectacular hard rock riffs and Hammond from Norum and Michaeli. The moody epic "Turn to Dust" closes things out in grand fashion, complete with swirling organ and bluesy guitar, Tempest soaring to the heavens on a tune that will be greatly appreciated by any Deep Purple MkIII or early Whitesnake fan.
Quite simply, Walk the Earth is a spectacular album filled with gritty heavy rock songs that touch upon so many elements from the '70s and '80s, but with a clear Europe stamp on them. If you are looking for "The Final Countdown" and "Carrie" you've come to the wrong place. This is SERIOUS hard rock album folks, by a band that are delivering the strongest material of their career. Do not miss it!
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!
- Walk The Earth
- The Siege
- Kingdom United
- Election Day
- Whenever You're Ready
- Turn to Dust