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W.E.T.: Earthrage

Can it really be five years since we last got W.E.T.? Well, living in Scotland, as I do, obviously not but it is half a decade since those guys from Work Of Art, Eclipse and Talisman delivered their second salvo, Rise Up. With that core trio consisting Robert Säll, Erik Martensson and Jeff Scott Soto respectively, it’s easy to see why it takes this band so long to deliver their goods, but when they do, boy do they bring it! With guitarist Magnus Henriksson (Eclipse) and drummer Robban Bäck (Eclipse/Sabaton) rounding out a superbly talented quintet, it would be no exaggeration to call this band the first Supergroup of the new era of melodic rock and with Earthrage they live up to that lofty tag - again.

In all honesty melodic rock is pretty straight forward to get right - catchy hooks, memorable choruses, stinging guitar lines and classy keyboards the prime and readily available ingredients. However making all of that into something that isn’t just a tired rehash of old ideas; well that’s the hard part. As already covered, having five phenomenal musicians in place, and all at the top of their game, is half the battle, but you also need craftily constructed songs that bring out the best in all involved. Something Martensson in particular has achieved every time W.E.T. have convened... and he may just have outdone himself this time. “Urgent” (no, not that “Urgent”!) may well be the best example, the rhythm section locking in tight as a groove so deep that you’ll need to send out a search party to find the bottom, is dug. Guitars dart and stab, vocals snap and bite, drums pummel and pound as the best melodic rock track of the year so far is revealed. While “Burn” (no, not that “Burn”) takes a slightly (but only slightly) more refined approach to burrow deep into the mind. “Watch The Fire” and “Dangerous” are immediate but not too immediate, “Elegantly Wasted” and “The Burning Pain Of Love” are consider and carefully delivered but not too considered or careful, while “Heart Is On The Line” proves this outfit can also bring the ballad when the mood takes them. With “The Never Ending Retraceable Dream” and “I Don’t Wanna Play That Game” full of pulsating choruses that just don’t want to let you go, it really is no exaggeration to suggest that Earthrage has it all, including the usual classy and varied lyrics that you’d expect from JSS.

It’s no surprise, or coincidence that these guys are in constant demand, spreading their talents across all manner of styles, genres and albums. We can only be thankful that they obviously get as much of a kick out of being in W.E.T. as we get from them being in W.E.T.. They may not treat us to the results all that often, but when they do it sure is worth the wait. Earthrage is mighty.

Track Listing
1. Watch The Fire
2. Burn
3. Kings On Thunder Road
4. Elegantly Wasted
5. Urgent
6. Dangerous
7. Calling Out Your Name
8. Heart Is On The Line
9. I Don’t Wanna Play That Game
10. The Burning Pain Of Love
11. The Neverending Retraceable Dream

Added: May 3rd 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: W.E.T. at Frontiers Records
Hits: 1136
Language: english

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