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Degreed - 'Dead But Not Forgotten' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/51/80/df/degreed-dead-but-not-forgotten-56-1445377739.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     October 20, 2015    
 
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High octane plus mega melodic equals impressive!

Where do I start?! I suppose I must begin by offering huge congratulations (on behalf of every Melodic Rock/AOR enthusiast) to Degreed who, after more than a decade in such an unstable Rock environment, are still together, producing excellent musicianship and, most important of all, still learning, developing and perfecting their craft with each sonic contribution.

'Dead But Not Forgotten' is the band's third album and it follows hot on the heels (well, eighteen months) of 'We Don't Belong' (an opus that was a huge leap forward from their solid 2005 debut 'Life, Love, Loss') and one that generated innumerable plaudits far and wide. I've always been aware of their existence, ever since they clinched their inaugural record deal with MelodicRock Records, but it was only when I saw them in Bolton earlier this year that I realised this was a band with so many strings to their bow and each string could flit between, and flirt with, more sub-genres than you could shake a stick at!!

So, what are Degreed? Melodic Rock, AOR, Modern Rock, Prog, Metal...? Well, the easiest thing for me to say (and I will) is that they are all of those... and more. But don't panic, if you're not a Metal fan you will hardly notice their spasmodic Metal-tinted forays and the same applies to the Prog nuances on display. The pace of 'Dead But Not Forgotten' is fast and therefore no one particular technique hangs around long enough to be an affliction; they only compliment the songs they're deployed within. What is constant throughout, however, is melody with a capital 'M'! Robin Ericsson (vocals, bass), Daniel Johansson (guitar), Mikael Jansson (keys) and Mats Ericsson (drums) must have melody gushing through their veins, as ALL fourteen (yes, fourteen!) songs exude the stuff from every note, verse, bridge and chorus.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Opener, 'The Scam', is a monumental Melodic Rocker that comes out of the traps faster than a nun leaving a brothel! A blazing, bombastic start that is very reminiscent of fellow Swedes, The Poodles and Eclipse – instant proof that Degreed have upped their game considerably... yet again. Another comparison I feel duty-bound to make is that with our very own Vega; 'Shame On Me', 'Better Safe Than Sorry', 'Drama', 'Touch Of Paradise' and 'Firefly' are commercial sing-along's with that Modern Rock vibe and intensity (noticeable in varying degrees throughout the album). One point worth noting is that Ericsson's vocal delivery on 'Love Me, Love Me Not' is eerily evocative of the late, great Steve Lee. 'Kill Your Darlings' is another pedal-to-the-metal stand out.

Personally, I feel fourteen songs are too many but without a filler in sight, I fully appreciate their judgment. High octane plus mega melodic equals impressive!

Dave Crompton

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