Ecliptica - Ecliptified

Ecliptica Ecliptified cover
Mars Music Productions
I remember not being particularly enamored with Ecliptica’s sole album on Frontiers a few years back that I thought was their debut, but apparently found out they also had a couple of albums prior to that the first with a cover seemingly painted by a 10 year old (or younger). I’ve not checked out their previous album and only with this one I found out that they seemingly have hired a new female singer to share vocal duties with Thomas their “normal” singer for several albums. Sandra Urbanek is the forth on and probably the “better” of the dames they had, and despite her coy looks, boy can she both sing and then sing with some “guts” as well. She reminded me of a mix between the two singers of Battle Beast along with a bit of Elise Ryd’s “color”, when she sounds mellower and clean but not with quite the range. She’s not the only girl in the band either, since their bassist Petra Schuhmayer is a recent acquisition and they‘ve also changed their drummer with Roman Daucher... but hey if memory serves me correctly the dude that was drumming was also called Roman, so that’s a more subtle change, there!
The bands sound better than some years ago, and I guess a somewhat different lineup might have something to do with that. I do like the addition of Sandra on vocals that allows for more dynamic and interesting vocal arrangements and the style is quite more metallic and bombastic than before, which isn’t bad either. I mean they sound more experienced and certain of the direction they want to follow some 5 albums in which is not bad, not that they still couldn’t improve their mix or overall cohesion, but still, they’re on a definitely good level.
“Welcome to the Show” is a quite flam-buoyant and pacey opener that “Hate the Pain”, with its heavier and meaner sound, doesn’t manage to eclipse (not sure if I intended the pun… but what the hell.)
“Round ‘n’ Round” is not some Ratt cover – but it makes a fine entry in the disco-metal subgenre that Battle Beast’s “Touch in the Night” did quite bring back to life… not so long ago.
“Road to Nowhere” is a dynamic back n forth between the two vocalists, over a neat riff with a very nice 80s chorus.
“One for Rock ‘n’ Roll” takes things even more towards 70s/80s sounding like a deadringer not for love, but for early era Meatloaf, sounding almost like a tribute to the several “Bats” albums and their wacky theatrical rock n roll personality...
Speaking of the “loafy”, “Need Your Love” also sounds like some bad Meatloaf half ballad, a bit all over the place really…
“Persephone” is a rather fast paced and hard hitting instrumental with a nifty lead hence breaks up the sequence interestingly.
“Hero of the Day” relaxes a bit on the theatrics, but it is heavier and more passionate and it makes you wonder why that passion was absent earlier on.
“Trip” is a more of a show off track for vocal acrobatics, since its bizarre musical motifs and poppy chorus make it a bit of a standout, but not in the best possible way.
“Rock ‘n’ Roll Medication” goes back to the bad-loaf formula and produces a lesser result, while the sax on “No Surrender” sounds a little odd, but not off.
“For Good” is a modern sounding ballad that allows Miss Urbanek to display her vocal talents and while I was half expecting “We Rock” to be a cover, it’s not. Instead it’s a decent but not particularly outstanding number.
Good, but not great, still with the improvements, they seem to be on to something… improving the production and making it along with the songwriting a bit more natural and organic, might be a good idea.