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Eclipse (Sweden) - 2017 Monumentum

ARTIST: Eclipse (Sweden)
ALBUM: Monumentum
LABEL: Frontiers
YEAR: 2017


LINEUP: Erik Mårtensson - vocals, guitar * Magnus Henriksson - guitar * Magnus Ulfstedt - bass * Philip Crusner - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Vertigo * 02 Never Look Back * 03 Killing Me * 04 The Downfall Of Eden * 05 Hurt * 06 Jaded * 07 Born To Lead * 08 For Better Or For Worse * 09 No Way Back * 10 Night Comes Crawling * 11 Black Rain



The star attraction of last year's MelodicrockfestAUS was Swedish band Eclipse. They appeared late on the second night to an enthusiastic local crowd and thoroughly blew everyone away with a class performance. It was good catching up with Erik and the band and understanding what makes them tick. In essence, they deliver a Goldilocks version of melodic hard rock. In this case, not too light, and not too heavy. Now most of the time, I much prefer it when a band like this goes down the heavier route, but Eclipse sit right on the cusp of that hard rock/metal fence, and this is exactly where 'Monumentum' is placed, keeping fans on both sides of the gate happy.

The Songs
Like other bands on the Frontiers roster, these guys are top drawer and like the recently reviewed House Of Lords article for 'Saint Of The Lost Souls', the term 'consistency' appears to be in the vocabulary for these guys too. The team are on the rampage early on, with 'Vertigo' sending aural senses into a tailspin. 'Never Look Back' is second up, and when they mention hurricanes in the lyrics, you know Eclipse are storm-chasers of the melodic kind. 'Killing Me' is a dramatic and intense near 4 minutes, you'll need a strong coffee to manage your way through this. 'The Downfall Of Eden' is the first change-up, and we're now four tracks in and I'm very impressed. I like the arrangement for this, with medieval styled lyrics but Gary Moore flavoured passages from his early 80's timeframe. Erik sings in the vein of Hardline's Johnny Gioeli, which is a huge endorsement. 'Hurt' is the album's first ballad, and soars into the heavens. Eclipse perform melodic rock ballads the way they are supposed to. I've heard many artists do ballads and absolutely kill them; they should take lessons from these guys.

We venture into the back-end of the album now, and there's no respite with 'Jaded' shifting out of cruise control, with an arrangement and chorus that few bands can get close to. 'Born To Lead' is the perfect blend of steely melodic rock and borderline metal, with tough as nails guitar work and a rampant rhythm section. The riffs keep flying off the handle with 'For Better Or For Worse', as well as 'No Way Back', both tracks too good to ignore. Eclipse take the elevator to the top floor with 'Night Comes Crawling', preceded by an intro of sonic disturbance before the doors are kicked out. The album closer is the five minute special 'Black Rain'. It's a power ballad, and rises like a Phoenix through a cloudbreak of blanketed guitars and vocals.

In Summary
Most of the songs hover in the three/half to four minute range, so they never outstay their welcome. This is the ideal length for an album like this, and as mentioned above, sits nicely in the Goldilocks zone. Perfect. As an aside, the Japanese edition of this album includes a bombastic acoustic version of 'The Downfall Of Eden'. I'm thinking this will be a great track for the band to do as an unplugged rendition. No doubt it will be another busy year for Mr Mårtensson, but if I can make some suggestions Erik (err hmm).. a new Toby Hitchcock collaboration would be cool. So too a new W.E.T. album. Not asking for much.. lol. In the meantime enjoy this melodic monsterpiece. It really is worth setting aside 46 minutes of your time.

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#1 | gdazegod on April 05 2017 01:56:18
Eclipse (Sweden) - 2017 Never Look Back
YouTube Video:
#2 | DEMONAOR on April 05 2017 08:11:17
One thing to say about this album, fuckin' brilliant.
#3 | gdazegod on April 05 2017 10:41:56
music Thumbs Up
#4 | george_the_jack on April 05 2017 15:58:03
I will admit I haven't treated this band with the deserving attention. I first saw them at Firefest VI and was not that impressed apart from the excellent lead guitarist. Erik was struggling to sing and hear himself that night and you could even see the veins in his neck due to overexertion.

However, that was several years ago. Since then he has developed his singing, guitar playing and most importantly has become a great songwriter. I still can't disregard a GEM like the 1st W.E.T. album while I also loved the latest (and last)Jimi Jamison album. Moreover, I have got to see him with Glamunition (featuring the former Wig Wam singer Age Sten Nilsen) although I was expecting a lot more from that band and project.

Truth to be told, I haven't cared much for Eclipse so far due to the reasons above, plus I'm not too keen on the college-style rock 'n' roll the band tries to adopt in recent years.

The time has come to check these guys out thoroughly I reckon.
#5 | george_the_jack on May 03 2017 03:09:58
Hmm. This style of music doesn't resonate with me I'm afraid no matter how much I try for it. I will admit this is a well- played and produced album but not my cup of tea by any means.

Unfortunately, my verdict about this band hasn't changed much since I saw them live for the first time a few years ago. After listening to this highly acclaimed release, I'm still left with the same feelings..I vastly prefer Eric when he writes music for others.
#6 | melodiapositiva on May 03 2017 16:23:37
Well, i also try to like this band and a lot more from Frontiers, but they don't make any impact on me helpless
#7 | rkbluez on May 21 2017 19:31:18
Good well played well produced music but it doesn't blow me away like other's OK but no way is it essential or as good as some of the other stuff Frontiers is putting out that don't get as much attention or hype as Eclipse does.

Out of all the newer Frontiers releases this is one I never find myself reaching for...I've tried very hard to get into it and see what I'm missing but I always wind up getting bored ...I do love the song Black Rain though.
#8 | jeffrey343 on May 22 2017 17:07:17
I've felt the same way as many of the others - these guys just don't move me as much as they do other people. Vega is another band that is like that for me. They're excellent musicians with fine singers, and they very good at what they do. But I don't feel like choosing their albums over those of other artists. If radio or MTV was like it was and these songs were in the rotation, I'd certainly like them well enough. I'll create playlists for working out and put these songs in those playlists, and they work well for me in that capacity.

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