CD Reviews

Eclipse - 'Are You Ready To Rock' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 29, 2010    
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If this was the 80’s 'Are You Ready To Rock' may well have been Eclipse's 'Pyromania' ...

Young Swedish duo Eclipse have made some excellent music on their previous two albums but failed to make the impact that was predicted at the launch of their debut several years ago. ‘Are You Ready To Rock’ (shouldn’t that have a question mark?), their first release for the Italian Frontiers label, seems to stand more of a chance because not only is it on a bigger label but Erik Martensson and Magnus Henrikssen have made an album of such quality that it would be an absolute travesty if it didn’t increase their profile greatly. I actually find it ridiculous that a superb singer and writer like Martensson (who also provides guitars, bass and keyboards) is probably better known as the stand-in singer for H.E.A.T. at Firefest, but hopefully the plaudits he received will turn some of that band’s fans onto Eclipse as well.

A little more guitar heavy and hard edged than their counterparts, Erik and Magnus, augmented by guest keyboard player Johan Berlin and drummer Henric W. Erikson, have delivered a record that’s high on enthusiasm and catchy melodic tunes but doesn’t have a ballad in sight. Instead you get eleven concise and exciting high-energy songs with more memorable melodies than you can shake at. At their best they simply take your breath away, like the racy Dokken-esque opener ‘Breaking My Heart’, the superb twin guitar attack of ‘Young Guns’ or the highly commercial ‘Unbreakable’. The duo tick all the boxes with the ridiculously infectious ‘To Mend A Broken Heart’ and show considerable arranging skills on the soaring ‘Souls’ and the catchy ‘A Million Miles Away’.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The guitar work of Magnus Henrikssen is stunning throughout, from the feelgood riffs to the beautifully put together solos, and to reference another great (almost) Swedish band, the complex and slightly funky guitar parts that ‘Hometown Calling’ and ‘Call Of The Wild’ wouldn’t sound out of place on a Talisman album. On top of it all Martensson puts in a top class vocal performance, not only on the leads but also on the layered harmonies.
With all the big names currently on the roster it would probably take something special for a label like Frontiers to take a risk on a band like Eclipse. In the old days, unlike now, most bands would get a chance to develop and wouldn’t be expected to really start delivering the goods until their third or fourth album. If this was the 80’s ‘Are You Ready To Rock’ may well have been Eclipse’s ‘Pyromania’, ‘Slippery When Wet’ or ‘The Final Countdown’. Yes, it’s that good!

Phil Ashcroft

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