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Articles Home » 2013 Articles » Degreed - 2013 We Don't Belong
Degreed - 2013 We Don't Belong

ARTIST: Degreed
ALBUM: We Don't Belong
LABEL: AOR Records
YEAR: 2013


LINEUP: Robin Ericsson - lead vocals, bass * Daniel Johansson - guitars, backing vocals * Jesper Adefelt - guitars, backing vocals * Micke Jansson - keyboards * Matts Ericsson - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Black Cat * 02 What If * 03 In For The Ride * 04 Inside Of Me * 05 Follow Her * 06 Blind Hearted * 07 Here I Am * 08 Access Denied * 09 Coming Home * 10 We Don't Belong * 11 Just Another Heartache [bonus] * 12 We Don't Belong (feat Godbrother) [bonus]



I have to give a big thanks to Andrew McNiece over at for putting me onto this Swedish band, as they were once part of his label Melodic Rock Records. Now signed to the fledgling Swedish label of Houston's Freddie Allen (AOR Records), don't let the small time status of that record label put you off, for 'We Don't Belong' is an intense listen, which stretches beyond the melodic rock boundaries these blokes have been pigeon-holed in, and out onto the general heavy metal expanse. The band is intact from their previous 2010 release, the boys maturity in playing and songwriting laid bare for all to see. For me, Degreed have a similar approach to fellow Swedes Platitude, though not as frilly as fluffy as those blokes.

The Songs
'Intro' is a cinematic like instrumental which leads directly into 'Black Cat'. There's some controlled aggression here, even some layered keyboard work, though I wasn't too keen on the rap-metal like chorus. The rest is cat-scratchingly good. 'What If' (there's no tomorrow) extends Degreed power-packed delivery method. It is compressed into the equivalent of carry-on luggage for a budget airline (Ryan Airlines anyone?) and is tighter than a ducks 'proverbial'.. 'In For The Ride' is cooler than cool, iron-clad riffs and twinkly keyboard lines.. again think 2003-2005 era Platitude for a comparison. 'Inside Of Me' is typical of modern rock/metal.. it'll work for some, not so for others. The acoustic lead-in to 'Follow Her' is followed by some circumspect lyrics with music to match. I'm reminded of Aussies Karnivool on this one. 'Blind Hearted' is the jekyll/hyde track of the album, with at least three different genre changes throughout. Ballad, hard rock, plus a dose of symphonic in the middle. 'Here I Am' has the makings of a radio/singles contender, while 'Access Denied' is the definite shaker & mover of the album. Paced to thrill, and primed for the chase. However, the pick of the album is the title track 'We Don't Belong'. A lot of thought has gone into this song it would seem, everything about it is classy.

In Summary
There's been a lot mentioned about Degreed recently, and the attention is warranted. 'We Don't Belong' as I said earlier is an intense listen. It's not an immediate album and won't grab you on the first listen. I know this was the case for me. Repeated listening sessions are required to get to the bottom of the Degreed audio experience. Still relatively new and not over-exposed, I'm sure more people will become familiar with them in the months to come. Recommended.

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#1 | gdazegod on August 20 2013 09:02:28
On the eve of the official release for this album, guitarist Jesper Adelfelt has left the band. Instead, Degreed will carry on as a four-piece.

#2 | george_the_jack on September 29 2013 03:57:50
This one is a very consistent release with excellent musicianship and great ideas throught the record. Maybe a little more modern and edgy than what I normally like but neverthess good in almost every aspect. Having seen the band live, I have to point out that it's a band to watch; techically skilled, groovy, energetic. They seem they quite enjoy what they're doing and that's a big plus.
#3 | swazi on June 10 2014 22:01:02
Very good release. I actually prefer this one to their debut, which sounded a little too "modern" for my taste.
#4 | Jez on February 02 2016 13:26:55
A relative late comer to my top picks, but what a stunning album it is and a major step up from their promising debut a couple of years ago. Melodic rock with a modern twist is the name of the game and a rock solid, mix of stunning songs (check out 'What If' for one of the best songs of the year) excellent, tight musicianship, wrapped up in a production to die for. Superb stuff.
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