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Aces High - 2004 Forgive And Forget



ARTIST: Aces High
ALBUM: Forgive And Forget
LABEL: GMR Records
SERIAL: PLRCD012
YEAR: 2004

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Bjorn Andersen - vocals * Anders J-Son - bass *Jake Sandberg - guitars *Anders Johansson - drums * David Brandt - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Killing Time * 02 Forgive And Forget * 03 Hyde Mr Jekyll * 04 Tell Me * 05 Blinded * 06 Judas Kiss * 07 What I Came For * 08 The Things We've Done * 09 Legacy * 10 Listen To Fools


Background
1994 was an interesting year for hard rock, considering we were in the midst of the grunge movement. Shining like a beacon for all things melodic were Swedish outfit Aces High, who released their most awesome debut 'Ten N Out'. For many, myself included, it easily made the Top 10 list for that year. They sort of lost momentum over the following years, then followed it up with the 'Pull No Punches' from 1998, which was a major setback, and ultimately disappointing. Despite the passing of time, the band still retain the core of their personnel, to release their third album in ten years. Thankfully, the band have found their original form, and give us a set that goes very close to replicating their 'Ten N Out' material, but not quite. Fans of Talisman and Rainbow should take some comfort from this release, mind you, Aces High touch on many past greats of the genre.


The Songs
Things get off to a galloping start, the Saxon like delivery of 'Killing Time' a stark reminder of metal some twenty years previous. The title track 'Forgive And Forget' is the stuff that Swedish bands of this ilk are best known for. Taking the best bits of 220Volt and PC 69 they come up with a tune that wouldn't been out of place on their debut. The cleverly titled 'Hyde My Jekyll' is a bluesy stomper, the stuff that bands like Great King Rat spat out with ease. The obligatory ballad on the album is 'Tell Me'. It's not half as good as 'Remember' off 'Ten N Out', but is nice enough, similar to prime time Europe and Treat. 'Blinded' meanwhile is a sonic blast, the tempo increased to 'frenetic' pace, the Brazen Abbot like approach infusing Deep Purple and Rainbow influences. Heavy and groove laden is the best way to describe the pairing of 'Judas Kiss' and 'The Things We've Done', while the Rainbow soundalike rears its head again on the excellent 'What I Came For', though thankfully doesn't sound as tinny as Blackmore's mob ever did. 'Legacy' is an instrumental, in the vein of Gary Moore's 'The Loner', while the album closer ends with the rather tasty 'Listen To Fools', the relentless drum hammering keeps the metronome ticking away on this track. Good stuff.


In Summary
Aces High for me, had the potential to be one of the best bands out of Sweden, but I feel they were probably five or six years too late to make the scene and be successful. 'Forgive And Forget' is a great return to form, now all I hope is that countrymen Masquerade can do likewise and surprise us with a return to the form that saw them release one of 1992's better albums. We live in hope.


Related Articles
Aces High - 1994 Ten 'N' Out
Aces High - 2004 Forgive And Forget


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