Nubian Rose - 'Mental Revolution'

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Nubian Rose - 'Mental Revolution'

One of the best mainstream, Female-Fronted albums of recent years.

Another Fireworks edition and yet another stunning album from a Swedish band for me to review. I have to admit that I was rather surprised that my Editor allowed this out of his grip such is his penchant for Female-Fronted Rock [so many little time – Ed). 'Mental Revolution' is Nubian Rose's sophomore album following the release of their successful, self-financed debut 'Mountain' back in 2012. On '...Revolution' the band has just made everything bigger, louder, heavier and, in every way, better than the debut.

The album kicks off with 'War', an all-out Metal assault, followed by the six-minute epic 'Time Again', a song where the listener first gets to appreciate the amazing production quality, courtesy of guitarist/co-song-writer Christer Åkerlund who is surely going to be in great demand once this album is heard. The fantastic mix is courtesy of Tobias Lindell who has produced albums for fellow Swedish groups such as Europe, Hardcore Superstar and H.e.a.t. The phenomenal drum sound of Thomas Weijnesjö perfectly complements the fine guitar tones of Åkerlund with the focus of the album being naturally around the awesome, vocal talents of Sofia Lilja Åkerlund; however, Åkerlund never plays second fiddle to his wife. All of this would count for nothing if there weren't any decent songs and on '...Revolution' there are ten pearls.

'Illuminated Within' exhibits the controlled power in Lilja Åkerlund's vocals and is one of several songs that has Mats Levén (Candlemass, Krux, Therion) contributing backing vocals. Similar to the opener, 'The Eye' sounds like a female version of the mighty Ronnie James Dio.

'Tough Guys Don't Dance' gives a cheeky nod to the L.A. Rock scene whilst 'Break Out', the first song to be released from the album, simply pins you up to the wall and rips out your throat!

The second half of the album reverts from Melodic Metal to more traditional Melodic Hard Rock consistency but the quality does not dip and, if anything, improves further; starting with the fantastic AOR-tinged 'Higher', a truly awesome song. The "radio friendly" 'You Will Never Walk Alone' could and should be a monster hit and features keyboards courtesy of guest musician Joakim Ahlund (Caesars, Teddybears). '(Taking This) Further' is another song that could easily be released as a single and oozes class. The album concludes with the sing-a-long 'All Of Your Love' that features the Katarina Kammarkör Choir.

Often when reviewing albums, we reviewers have a tendency to often say that the band show real promise but, rarely is it delivered with such aplomb as Nubian Rose have accomplished with 'Mental Revolution'. I personally think that this album rates alongside Within Temptation's 'The Unforgiving' as the best mainstream, Female-Fronted album of recent years.

Mark Donnelly

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