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Eclipse - Viva La Victouria Award winner

Viva La Victouria
by Mike McMahan at 03 January 2021, 1:05 PM

Swedish Hard Rock band ECLIPSE have now released their first ever live album, and it is an armload. The two-disc set contains material recorded for the “Paradigm” Tour on the 21st of December 2019 in Gothenburg, Sweden, plus a few studio and alternate takes. It also contains three cuts taken from the band’s “Live From The Quarantine” pay per view from Stockholm on April 1, 2020. Checking in just shy of two hours-worth of music, this is a fantastic means for the uninitiated to get acclimated to the band; as well as being a fantastic check-up for longtime fans. The show has also been released on Blu Ray video.

ECLIPSE was formed in Stockholm, Sweden in 1999, by vocalist/guitarist Martensson and former drummer and keyboardist Anders Berlin. Through several lineup changes, the band has released nine studio albums from 2001 to 2019, landing with Frontiers Music in 2004. Eight of their nine releases have since come through the label. They have truly become legendary in the AOR/ Melodic Hard Rock field, and the energy displayed on this release will do nothing to dispel that status.

From the start, when the acoustic faux introduction to “Viva La Victoria” lifts into the thundering opening riffs, I knew this was going to be something extremely special. The band tears through the song with reckless abandon. I could sense that both they, and the audience, were having an absolute blast. The musicianship is superb, and the vocals are spot on in their delivery. Magnus Henriksson’s blistering guitar solo, and the sing-along audience participation toward the end of the song stand as highlights. “Mary Leigh” follows, offering more of the same…as does the remainder of the album.

It is a rare occasion when I hear a band live that sounds better than they do in the studio; but such is the case here. I have no complaint about the band’s studio work, but the live format gives them an extra depth. You can feel the power in these recordings, as if the band were standing in front of you. I can assure you, at the earliest available opportunity, they will be standing in front of me. Incredible release, front to back. It is certainly in my Top 5 of the year. Run to it.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Disc One
1. Viva La Victoria
2. Mary Leigh
3. Blood Wants Blood
4. The Storm
5. Vertigo
6. Jaded
7. Shelter Me
8. United
9. The Downfall Of Eden
10. When The Winter Ends
11. Take Me Home
12. Battlegrounds

Disc Two
1. Black Rain
2. Blood Enemies
3. Stand On Your Feet
4. Runaways
5. I Don’t Wanna Say I’m Sorry
6. Never Look Back
7. Driving One Of Your Cars (Studio Version)
8. The Downfall Of Eden (Acoustic Version)
9. When The Winter Ends (Acoustic Version)
10. Battlegrounds (Quarantine Live)
11. Driving One Of Your Cars (Quarantine Live)
12. Delirious (Quarantine Live)
Erik Martensson - Vocals, Guitar
Magnus Henriksson - Guitars
Phillip Crusner - Drums
Victor Crusner - Bass
Record Label: Frontiers Music


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Edited 02 October 2022

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