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Age Of Reflection – In The Heat Of The Night

Age Of Reflection
In The Heat Of The Night
by Vikkie Richmond at 07 June 2017, 1:22 PM

Swedish rockers AGE OF REFLECTION have just dropped this, their debut album, on unsuspecting rock fans, as a follow up to their EP.  Describing themselves as ‘melodic rock’, this band clearly value the nostalgia factor, bringing us a release that celebrates the best of cheesy, floofy, 80s rock.  Opener “Borderline” is certainly straight out of the 80s.  It has old riffs, old fashioned vocals and is fairly generic to the style of back in the day.  Not that there is anything wrong with the 80s, it’s just that it was a long time ago and we had a whole slew of decent bands who rocked hard and created a solid legacy of eminently listenable back catalogues. However, I never let an album beat me, so onwards to track two, the super dramatic, fist clenching “The Mirror Never Lies”. With somewhat repetitive lyrics, it has a big sound but, again, I couldn’t find anything to inspire me. Third track “Every Time” does sort of redeem things, as it has an ever so slightly more modern feel to it and actually sounds pretty fresh, even though it has that vintage vein still running through it.  Title track, “In The Heat Of The Night” begins with a dialogue about war, specifically the conflict in Iraq, then kicks straight into a technical guitar shred.  With the military sounding drums and strong, chuggy riff behind it, it’s not a bad song. The opener to “Always” reminded me straight off of my old favourites ANNIHILATOR, although it is a ballad.  I’m not a big fan of rock ballads, but I suppose as ballads go, this one is okay.  It made me feel pretty melancholy, so I guess it did its job.  Next track “Evelyn” goes back to the classic rock vibe, with a promising shot of riffage at the start of the song.

Although it chugs along quite nicely, again it didn’t set me on fire, but there’s a pretty mean solo near the end of the song. The rest of this album is pretty much more of the same, to be honest.  “Blame It On My Heart” and “Now And Forever” both have some admirable sound effects, with some particularly fetching keyboard action on the latter.  One thing I noticed throughout this album is that Lars can actually sing.  His voice sometimes grates, but it is at least refreshing to listen to music that carries a decent vocal offering. Penultimate track “You Are My Light” and final track “Dying For Your Love” (the actual last track is a semi acoustic version of track three) both feature some nice keys, and the latter is a fitting closing song. There is no disputing the musical talent of this band and anyone looking for a trip down classic rock memory lane will no doubt love the whole shebang.  However, I found “In The Heat Of The Night” a little stale; there is nothing new here, the style is quite old fashioned and just didn’t do much for my ears (but it DOES have to be said that it did start to grow on me after the third listen).  Having said that, of course there is some fine guitar work nestled away amongst the clichéd lyrics and it’s worth a listen just for that.  It’s also well produced and there’s not much to find fault with on that side of things.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1.  Borderline
2.  The Mirror Never Lies
3.  Every Time
4.  In The Heat Of The Night
5.  Always
6.  Evelyn
7.  Blame It On My Heart
8.  Now And Forever
9.  You Are My Light
10. Dying For Your Love
11. Every Time (alternative version)
Lars Nygren - Vocals
Jonas Nordqvist - Lead guitar
Carl Berglund - Guitar
Jan Skärming  - Bass 
Record Label: AOR Heaven


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Edited 05 December 2022

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