Review: Arctic Rain – The One – Frontiers Music – Release: Out now.
The lovers from AOR and melodic rock in general all know that the Scandinavian countries are a hotbed for quality. We got Treat, Skagarack, Pretty Maids and Europe in the 80’ties and the new class is fronted by Eclipse, H.e.a.t, Reckless Love and others. It is no secret that the Frontiers Music label is the best cradle for these bands. The label has an eye for new talent and on regular basis they sign a new band. The same story can be told around Arctic Rain. The keyboard player has an impressive track record of working with reputable acts such as Revolution Saints, House Of Lords, Issa, Toby Hitchcock, Kee Of Hearts, and many more. The main question here was: can he create magic for his own band?
Arctic Rain are:
Tobias Jonsson – Vocals
Magnus Berglund – Guitars
Pete Alpenborg – Keys
Gert Daun – Bass
Jonas Jönsson – Drums
Within the first two seconds from opener ‘Love Of My Life’ there is no doubt anymore that Pete is a great song writer. This track kicks you in the face and takes you back when melodic rock ruled the airwaves. Besides the powerful vocals from Tobias it is that guitar sound that grabs your attention. The riffs, licks and hooks this guy creates are just melodic heaven. In the past I also was blown away once by the guitar work on an album. That album was Fate’s ‘Scratch ‘n Sniff’ with the awesome Mattias Eklundh on the axe! Tobias isn’t afraid of reaching those high notes as well.
I was afraid that the band has blown all of their cylinders on that first track! But hell, was I wrong! The following track ‘Lost’ goes even a step further and holds some of the most catchy riffs. And listen to that fretboard guitar solo – pure ear candy! The bands claims to be influenced by Whitesnake, Mr Big, Foreigner, Talisman, Def Leppard, Dokken, White Lion, Journey…. Well let me tell you if you pour these bands in a big blender and hit the switch. The lovely sweet ooze that pours out is the sound of Arctic Rain. ‘Friends’ follows in a more melodic way with smoother vocals. But when the main riff kicks in my head starts to spin and my body starts moving in ways it hasn’t done in ages! These tracks make me forget all this COVID-19 shit and makes me singalong in full force. (my neighbors granted me that weird look!).
Catchy as hell is the best description for the slower paced ‘Night After Night’ with smoother verses, that build up to the stronger chorus. The speedy solo delivers a super contrast to the song. Whitesnake must have been on their mind when they wrote ‘Free My Mind’ because it has the same almost sexual tension as big David Coverdale is famous for. And the mighty Survivor (from the ‘Too Hot To Sleep’ -era) pops in my mind when the riff from ‘Lift Me Up’ passes by.
The title track can be called a ballad with singer Tobias as King of the castle. After that softer moment we get shook up by the frenzy from ‘Breakout’. The track is the perfect combination off Talisman groove and some Yngwie Malmsteen arpeggio’s. This is fast and furious track, that kicks major ass. The solo has a bluesy part this time. Keys dominate the start from ‘Madeleine’, but soon those sharp riffs kick in and the party starts … again! Album closer ‘Take Me To Your Heart’ summarizes again what this band is all about. Killer riffs with amazing vocals backed with a solid rhythm section.
I guess you already know that I dig this album. I can listen to it all day, without getting bored or getting the urge to switch on something else. This is what feel good music sounds like. I thought Tokyo Motor Fist delivered a great album, but these guys made even a better one. It’s gonna be hard to beat this one. I sincerely hope to see these guys in the nearby future on stage somewhere…
Score: 4,75 out of 5
- Love Of My Live
- Night After Night
- Free My Mind
- Give Me All Your Love
- Lift Me Up
- The One
- Take Me To Your Heart