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Age Of Reflection - 'A New Dawn' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     April 20, 2020    
 
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This deserves a place amongst the most valued AOR/Melodic Rock albums you own.

Age Of Reflection's 2017 debut 'In The Heat Of The Night' caused quite a stir amongst the AOR/Melodic Rock community. Their live performances, including a stunning appearance at Rockingham (UK) in 2018, only cemented their popularity further, hence the anticipation for this sophomore effort was palpable.

Like so many of their Scandinavian peers, Lars Nygren (vocals), Carl Berglund (guitar), Jan Skärming (bass), Jonas Nordqvist (lead guitar), Jens Rüttgeroth (keyboards) and Peppe Vikman (drums) construct a brand of music that relies, first and foremost, on soul-stirring vocals and harmonies, high-class melodies and a lyrical content that primarily focuses on relationships – love found and love lost, plus the occasional curve-ball thrown in to keep us on our toes. To cement this mouth-watering smorgasbord of artistry is in-vogue producer and fellow Swede Erik Mårtensson (Eclipse, W.E.T. and Nordic Union) who needs no introduction whatsoever.

Commencing with the resplendent 'Aurora', an introductory instrumental that allows both the guitars and keyboard to flex their muscles, you know you're in safe hands and fond memories of the stunning debut immediately reacquaint themselves. This segues into the title-track which is a terrific tune that utilises that quintessential Melodic Rock riffing to perfection. One noticeable and immediate difference to the debut is that there is more bite and also more purpose to this effort than its highly-polished and measured predecessor.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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This heavier vibe, with its potent rhythm section, short-but-sharp guitar break and soaring chorus, encompass a more mature direction for the band. Co-founder Berglund told me, "We wanted this album a little bit harder, more edgy, but still keeping the melodies from the debut. When we play live (the songs) become harder, and we wanted to capture that energy on this album."

'Stay With Me' maintains this prerequisite, whilst 'Here I Stand' gives a succinct nod towards Bon Jovi's 'Livin' On A Prayer'. The fastest track on the release is 'Go', and its incredible riffing, gleaming guitar break and catchy chorus make this another sure-fire-hit if played live. I'm reluctant to name every song as that will spoil the initial wonderment, but I must mention 'What If I Break' and 'I Just Died'; the former is a pseudo-power ballad of epic proportions, whereas the latter is an expeditious and much-improved cover of the Cutting Crew "classic" from 1986.

Resisting hyperbole, all I'll say is this deserves a place amongst the most valued AOR/Melodic Rock albums you own.

Dave Crompton

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