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Gotthard - 2007 Domino Effect

ARTIST: Gotthard
ALBUM: Domino Effect
LABEL: Nuclear Blast
SERIAL: NB 1816-2
YEAR: 2007


LINEUP: Steve Lee - vocals * Leo Leoni - guitars * Freddy Scherer - guitars * Marc Lynn - bass * Hena Habegger - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Master Of Illusion * 02 Gone To Far * 03 Domino Effect * 04 Falling * 05 The Call * 06 The Oscar Goes To.. * 07 The Cruiser (Judgement Day) * 08 Heal Me * 09 Letter To A Friend * 10 Tomorrow's Just Begun * 11 Come Alive * 12 Bad To The Bone * 13 Now * 14 Where Is Love When It's Gone * 15 Can't Be The Real Thing (Bonus)



As I write, Gotthard latest album 'Domino Effect' has gone to No#1 in their home land of Switzerland. The band generally tend to draw favorable reviews throughout mainland Europe, and are a good proposition on the live circuit too. This is their eleventh album (I may stand to be corrected), and their first studio outing since 2005's 'Lipservice'. It didn't take long for me to get captured and raptured by this album - something that Gotthard had failed to do in the past. Some things have worked, but on the other hand there are some concerns too.. they don't get off scot-free. Let's address some of those. Firstly, fourteen tracks (not withstanding the bonus track). Too long? Secondly, all of the tracks hover in that 3min 30sec to 4min 30sec mark. The longest track here is 4min 28sec. Would have loved to have heard something a bit more extended. Perhaps that isn't their style? With that out of the way, lets touch on the good things. The band have delivered an album that to my ears combines Fair Warning melody with a Harem Scarem penchant for the short sweet and snappy. Also, the production is fantastic, the band led by Leo Leoni slapped this together during a 6-7 week timeframe.

The Songs
Vocalist Steve Lee sounds even better than before, and with 'Master Of Illusion' and you get to hear him tear it up as the band fires on all sixes, great riffs and a magic chorus. Fans of Tommy Heart and Fair Warning should listen to 'Gone Too Far', Lee giving a performance that would startle their German neighbours! The same could be said for the pairing of the title track 'Domino Effect' and 'Now', both FW sounding tunes without the signature Helge Engelke guitarwork. When the band really fire up, as on 'Bad To The Bone' or 'The Cruiser', they never lose their sense of melody. Even the ballads sound classy. 'Fallin' soaks up so much atmospher, 'Letter To A Friend' carries emotion and power, 'Tomorrow's Just Begun' is similar whereas 'Where Is Love When It's Gone' is stripped back, but carries ambience and a European flavour with the accordion given some room.

In Summary
At fourteen tracks plus bonus, this is probably a bit long, even though the total time is just under an hour. I'll let that point slide because most of the material is pretty damn good. For those of you thinking that a new Gotthard is a case of 'ho-hum', I would ask that you take the time to investigate it. Now I will admit that I am not the biggest supporter of the band, but 'Domino Effect' has changed my stance completely, so that says something! On this effort, I can see this album doing well on the European Charts during the Northern spring/early summer. Make sure you get out and support Gotthard during the Festival season.

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#1 | george_the_jack on August 22 2008 17:33:25
Just good compared to the excellence of lipservice release...Now, I'm waiting for their next one with more appetite and requirements....

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