Sunday, February 3, 2013

THE ROCKFORD HEROES - Edge Of The Silverthorn (2013)

THE ROCKFORD HEROES - Edge Of The Silverthorn (2013) mp3 download


Already presented in this blog last year, Swedish rockers THE ROCKFORD HEROES are releasing their first full length album entitled "Edge Of The Silverthorn".
The previous two EP were a good representation of the band's potential, and now with new bass player Erik Carlsson and a refined production The Rockford Heroes are ready to take the scene by storm.

Band leader guitarist Jonas Arvidsson says; "The title of the album is about to how some guys got blinded by false brilliance and splendour. There are probably a lot of people who live and balances 'on the edge of a silverthorn'. You have a lot, but it would also take very little to turn into a total disaster."
The Rockford Heroes' music is plenty of crunchy riffs and strong keyboard textures combining their love for classic '80s Melodic Hard Rock and modern day sounds, with a wide spectrum of influences ranging from Skid Row, Edguy, Queen, Pretty Maids, Tobruk and many more. The band is kind of all over the map but it works.

Lead singer Dan Hultstrand has a really good voice sounding almost like Sebastian Bach at times and he has perfected his English diction for this recording, while the music is diven by the Arvidsson's sharp riffs and synth staccatos.
Opener "No Reason To Believe" starts very atmospheric increasing the tempo into a melodic chorus with solid harmony vocals. A classic midtempo Melodic Hard rocker blending eighties Madison and the underrated Swedes Damned Nation's style. Killer track!
Follower "The Day Of Return" surprises from the beginning as the synth keyboard intro is really eighties but then the song explodes to some epic early nineties German-like hard, akin Helloween in the song structure but sonically it's really smooth.

"Forever" really shows how The Rockford Heroes have evolved as a unit. This is a complete Scandi style ballad in the vein of Da Vinci or Dalton with a strong keyboard presence (pianos & synths), however what gives it personality are the melodic guitars and the really well arranged layers of harmony vocals.
"And Then There Was Temptation" makes you think British Tobruk has reunited again. The track has those 'permanent' backing vocals all over and a frighten rhythm typically European, where Pretty Maids could be a good comparison.
"Gold Encircles The Altar" is somehow epic with melodious hard rocking guitars, powerful vocals and Rainbow-like vintage keyboards. Guitars feel even harder in the riff driven and fast rocker "Capricious Arrows" that could easily hide some NWOBHM influences following the characteristic bridge-chorus addictive structure.
I love the way the keyboards ala Uriah Heep opens the door for some almost AOR grooves during "A Split Second Goodbye", a really '80s influenced melodic rocker plenty of retro charm.
"The Fools Realm" closes the album kicking-in as a power ballad (I can spot the Coverdale singing references here) and then develops into a great Euro Hard ala Pretty Maids or Praying Mantis tune based into British virtues via the driving main melody and the mood lifting tempo. A terrific track.

The Rockford Heroes was one of Sweden's best kept secrets until now, let's hope "Edge Of The Silverthorn" bring great things for them in a near future.
The band truly deserves to be heard as their songs are extremely well crafted with driving grooves and awesome melodies that will stick to mind from the very beginning. They go from pompy classic sounding melodic tunes to epic styled arrangements with layers of vocals plus some surprising hooks.
Honestly, each tune here has its own charm, providing some really hard rocking moments but with enough sophistication and melodies to also appeal the Melodic Rock, AOR and even the progressive crowd.
Quite Recommended.

01 - No Reason To Believe
02 - The Day Of Return
03 - Forever
04 - And Then There Was Temptation
05 - Gold Encircles The Altar
06 - Capricious Arrows
07 - A Split Second Goodbye
08 - The Fools Realm

Dan Hultstrand – Vocals, Backing Vocals
Jonas Arvidsson – Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Erik Carlsson – Bass
Marcus Johansson – Drums, Percussion



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