Eclipse - Bleed & Scream

Eclipse Bleed & Scream cover
Bleed & Scream
Frontiers Records
Eclipse, the Swedish hard rock, pretenders, that make up, the second letter, of W.E.T and released one of ‘08s best melodic albums, with “Are You Ready to Rock” are back for another attack, with their arsenal loaded with melody!
Taking cues from all things great about 80s hard rock, they give the style a much needed facelift and turbocharge it, bringing it into the 21’st century, kickin’ and screaming, or should I more appropriately say, Bleeding and Screaming ! Hehe (that sounds very Angelwitchesque)…
“Wake Me Up” kicks off the album in grand fashion, with its high energy, great melody and fantastic chorus. And the production, courtesy of the band themselves, is BOMBASTIC as hell big and immaculate! Fantastic!
The album’s namesake “Bleed and Scream” is initially a little too similar, a sort of slowed down variation of WMU, which sort of got me, scratching my head, weather I was listening to track 1 or 2, but it quickly differentiates itself from its predecessor and all I can say is WOW, one of the best of the year, hands down. I also love, how EM, takes a very Coverdalesque, vocal mannerism and he makes it his own, sounding nothing like the old Cov, but evoking his “spirit”.
“Ain’t Dead Yet” has some really nasty, big opening riffs and some fast drumming. Eclipse must be the hardest hitting hard rockers out there, almost bordering on heavy metal at times. It’s pretty relentless and checks easily, every cliché lyrics you can think of, lest dog without a bone, maybe, but its effing brilliant! Yeah, I guess, this guys have not invented the wheel, but they have most certainly re-invented it and are doing a hell of marketing campaign to sell it! Malmsteen and Europe fans, will have countless eargasms over this one.
The epic sounding “Battlegrounds” is a bit “English sounding” and sounds like the bastard offspring Thin Lizzy, Magnum and their ilk, sounding possibly like a TEN on steroids, which I guess means it’s pretty good ! And EM, displays quite a versatility and range that make him, one of rock’s best kept secrets.
“A Bitter Taste” is a mournful but also powerful ballad, that draws heavily from the soul of Whitesnake, with EM, doing his best Cov but it also has its own Scandi sensibilities that really run through it. Good Stuff – with even a sing-along ooooohhhh-ooohho-ooh part...!
“Falling Down” again, made me draw Whitesnake comparisons and parallelisms, but this time it’s more 1987 inspired, especially in the riff department. Still, it sounds quite marvelous. You see, Eclipse, is taking creative license, and is actually creative, with whatever they do. They might borrow, from other bands – but they are not downright stealing, they are only using a general template as a means to keep their focus, on what they want to sound like. That’s acceptable, that’s actually a tribute to their favorite bands, but they do that with respect to both those bands and themselves as songwriters.
“SOS” is mid tempo melodic paradise. Europe, would kill to have such a great song on any of their post reunion albums! I think that says a lot – both for how good this song is and how average the Europe ones seem to be, lately!
“Take Back the Fear” is speed AOR! Hahaha, no, it’s actually some very pedal to the metal, hard rock, that is again massive! Eclipse, took 4 years for a follow-up – which is quite a bit of time, but made sure, that they were going to DELIVER THE GOOD!
“The Unspoken Heroes” with its rather weird title, (as one would expect it to be, un-sung or something), has a social theme about all the heroes, I suppose, military ones, activists, people who strive for a change, but don’t make the front page. Musically it palindromes between a Lizzyesque bass motif and a more Whitesnakesque (rock era) riff, with an interesting resulting sound.
“About To Break” is a big, anthemic rocker, mid tempo and evoking the best of Europe’s best era. Lighters in the air please!
Finally “After the End of the World”, which should apparently and according to the Mayas be sometime this December, late in the month, is an interesting quirky, thumbing rocker that again draws inspiration from all the bands favorites, but imbues those influences with extra ooomph and has some amazing guitar rundowns.
Gentlemen, this is a nearly perfect collection of tunes which is only maybe plagued a bit by a tempo - monotony, but otherwise, each and every song, seems to be a winner! Production and performances are exemplary, the songwriting is inspired and plays on the strong points of the genre and well I suppose the fact that after the second song, I was rocking around in my chair trying to write this review and finding it hard and needing to rewind and replay most of the songs to really enjoy them once more, is telling of something that I guess you already knew: ECLIPSE F@$$#$# ROCKS!!!
PS (by the Admin): Wow, this is a great melodic hard rockin’ album! Catchy hooks, great performances & superb production! Surely one of the best hard rock albums of 2012! I couldn’t have said it better than Rockavlon… if you’re into this kind of music, then get this album with no reservations…