In the world of hard rock, the string of near perfect releases from Sweden's Eclipse is unparalleled (perhaps, in all of music). Two years out from the band's last brilliant album "Monumentum," how would "Paradigm" fare in comparison? Two words: 1. Eric 2. Mårtensson.
On "Paradigm" you can expect more tunes that you can instantly identify, sing along with and make you feel alive. "Viva La Victoria," "Mary Leigh," "United" and "Blood Wants Blood" provide more proof that a songs without hooks are just mundane. Add the huge, wide open, punchy and emotional "Take Me Home" and "Paradigm" is pure magic. If all hard rock bands wrote half as many great songs as Eclipse has AND put as much energy, pop and perfection into the recording, good music would be so much easier to find (rather than wading through the sea trying to discover that pearl).
If you enjoyed tunes like "Vertigo," "Never Look Back," "The Storm" or "Wide Open" in the past - then you are in for a treat. In comes "Delirious," "Never Gonna Be Like You" and "When the Winter Ends." Feel good....feel GREAT music for all. The band is hitting on all cylinders and keeps accelerating higher. Here there are choruses with feeling and lyrics with meaning...and hooks galore. Crank this up in the car and it feels like a bright sunny day even in the most dismal conditions.
It is so rare (and precious) that a band that can write this many songs which are both steeped in memorability AND so distinct. There is a sense of familiarity and style when consuming an Eclipse release - a reliability that creates such a carefree and comfortable atmosphere when listening. Eclipse records are impossible to stop once you start - an electric and high octane collection of songs that absolutely unmatched. The best comparison is imagining Def Leppard at the height of "Pyromania" or Motley Crue at the height of "Theatre of Pain" - but its not even fair when faced with the sheer volume of great tunes that Eclipse has pumped out over the course of seven studio records. It kind of makes you wonder what those early hard rock legends could have actually accomplished when you pluck away the rampant drugs and alcohol. There just might have been so many more great songs.
Proof that a musician can be everything to a band, on top of vocals, guitars and keyboards, Eric Mårtensson is also responsible for the sound perfection on each of the band's releases. "Paradigm" is no different then previous efforts - offering crystal clear perfect sound and mix. No shocker there. Of course, this takes nothing away from the brilliant performances of Magnus Henriksson (guitars), Philip Crusner (drums) and Magnus Ulfstedt (bass).
An uncanny title for a record, Eclipse hit the nail on the head perfectly since the band is literally the "Paradigm" for the entire hard rock subgenre. I'm not sure what is in the water over in Sweden, but there is a consistently large stream of great music flowing from that direction. "Paradigm" is a must buy for long time fans, new fans, hard rock fans and just fans of great music.
Label: Frontiers Music Srl (order album here)
Release Date: October 11, 2019
1. Viva La Victoria
2. Mary Leigh
3. Blood Wants Blood
4. Shelter Me
7. When the Winter Ends
8. .38 or .44
9. Never Gonna Be Like You
10. The Masquerade
11. Take Me Home
Check out "United" here:
Check out "Mary Leigh" here:
Check out the video clip for "Viva La Victoria" here:
Check out the video clip for "The Masquerade" here: