Chase Charaba, Editor-in-Chief
Swedish melodic rock band Eclipse released their newest album Monumentum on March 24. While one of the better melodic releases in recent years, the album lacks variety and follows a formula on most of the album’s songs, which creates a sense of boredom to the listener. However, Eclipse shows their impressive talents and many of the individual tracks are quite good.
Monumentum cruises right through the first few songs of the album without ever slowing down.
The album opens with the full-on melodic rocker “Vertigo,” setting the tone for what’s to follow. It’s the perfect song to open the album, featuring pure melodic rock guitar fire and powerful vocals. It’s quickly followed by “Never Look Back,” which keeps the album churning along at full speed. This is easily the best track on the album with an AOR feel that borders on glam metal. However, it’s also clearly made for the 21st century audience. This song has more attitude than most of the following songs and it’s hit material, if melodic rock still had a place on rock radio, especially in the United States.
“Killing Me” is like a lot of pop songs nowadays with the growing indie trend, but with an ‘80s AOR basis that blend well together. It’s something today’s music audience could easily enjoy if they stumbled across this album, but it will also keep hard rock and melodic rock fans happy. It’s fine work for a rock band in 2017.
The mood of the album finally shifts with the next two tracks. “The Downfall of Eden” opens with a Hardline-like feel, but the song doesn’t offer anything new or exciting. It’s a track that’s beautifully written with an incredible vocal performance, but it doesn’t stand out. Then listeners are immediately welcomed to the next track, “Hurt,” with the line “This is gonna hurt you.” The song is a ballad with incredible vocals and starts off slow and haunting for a minute and a half until the full band joins in. It’s a stand out on the album.
“Jaded” is a complete hard rocker that’s much needed after the two previous songs with fierce guitar during the verses, but the chorus isn’t as dangerous and kick-ass as it should be. Overall, it’s a pretty good song, but it’s missing the ideal chorus that would push it over the edge into hard rock territory.
The next few tracks on the album don’t do much to stand out and they follow a pretty standard melodic rock formula that drives the album. “Born to Lead” and “For Better or for Worse” are forgettable, which weakens the middle of the album. “No Way Back,” unlike the previous two tracks, features an epic guitar solo that any rocker can enjoy. “Night Comes Crawling” is another filler track and is the worst on the album.
However, the album rebounds with the final song, “Black Rain,” which is also the longest on Monumentum at 5 minutes and 18 seconds. The song opens differently from all the other songs on the album, finally breaking the formula. Everything is heavier and the bass guitar is more evident here. It’s a complete breath of fresh air as the album concludes. If only the song had been a little heavier in the chorus, the song would’ve been the perfect closer. It takes the cake as the most diverse and creative song on the album.
Having never heard the band’s previous material, their growth can’t be commented on. For those into AOR bands like Hardline, Monunentum is worth the purchase. Eclipse is worth watching in the years to come.
Best tracks: Never Look Back, Hurt, Black Rain