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Europe - Walk The Earth

Europe
Walk The Earth
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 25 December 2017, 8:39 AM

EUROPE is one of those bands that have been around forever but I’ve never actually heard anything from them other than their hit single “The Final Countdown.” Obviously, I started listening to this album with a clean slate and no preconceived notions. I am pleased to say their 11th full length studio album finds these Swedes still rocking after all these years.  There isn’t anything on this record immediately attention grabbing or catchy as “The Final Countdown,” but there is some deep and well played musicianship. Personally, I would describe this as hard rock or Power Metal without the Metal aspect but plenty of power.

Production/mix wise, I can hear every instrument on the album with ease.  This is a good thing, especially for bassist John Leven because he straight up shines throughout the album with his melodic bass. The opening track, “Walk The Earth,” has some epic keyboards but the 80’s cheese ends there with a hammering of riffs by John Norum, who has an uncanny ability to play heavy while still having a nice, clear, crisp old school style to it. Joey Tempest still has a nice set of pipes and sounds very energetic instead of tired, like so many bands of this era now sound.  Second track, “The Siege,” brings more of the same but instill some trippy keyboards and actually throws in some groove to the riffs.

A personal highlight for me is “Wolves,” with its ear catching fuzz dripped bass and guitars.  Joey’s voice is a bit more laid back here, taking more a hazy approach to the vocals like DEEP PURPLE or BLUE OYSTER CULT.   Mic Michaeli’s keyboards are more of a light touch on this song but it adds a perfect atmosphere to it.  In fact, I really love the way the keyboards eschew 80’s synth pop for a more organic sound this time around.  It adds a hard rock layer to their sound and honestly it sounds a bit more serious than it would otherwise.  If there is anything bad about the album is some of the songs sound somewhat similar to each other. They made a fan out of me and I’ll definitely go back to check out their previous records.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Walk The Earth
2. The Siege
3. Kingdom United
4. Pictures
5. Election Day
6. Wolves
7. GTO
8. Haze
9. Whenever You’re Ready
10. Turn To Dust
Lineup:
Mic Michaeli - Keys
John Levén - Bass
Joey Tempest - Vocals
John Norum - Guitars
Ian Haugland - Drums
Record Label: Silver Lining Records
     


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