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Forever - Forever

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 07 May 2019, 4:52 AM

Jonas Wikstrand, known as the drummer of the Swedish heavy metal band ENFORCER, also ex member of BLACK TRIP, will release the 1st studio album of his solo AOR side-project called FOREVER on April 19th, 2019 via Evil Confrontation Records for Europe, distributed by Soulfood. This first studio work will contain 10 tracks, featuring Olof Wikstrand, Eirik Røland and Johan Wikstrand on lead guitars. Jonas comments on the album: “This is the album I dreamed about doing for years, and even though it’s been a while since I finished the album, I’m still really proud of how it turned out. I’m so excited to finally show the album in its entirety.” "Forever" was recorded at Hvergelmer Studios, Arvika, Sweden and produced by Jonas Wikstrand himself. The artwork was made by Affe Piran.

“Anywhere you’ve gone” leads us off. The chorus rings out like an anthem from the start. Wikstrand has an interesting voice. There is an edge to his snarl and it is not entirely sung cleanly. It’s like a cross between Blackie Lawless and Steven Pearcy. The instruments keep up nicely in this positive sounding song. “Call out my Name” opens with piano and light guitar work. Wikstrand starts softly and then it’s game on. The backing vocals bring a nice element to the song, and his vibrato is more pronounced here. “Got me” opens with a traditional guitar riff and a more mid-tempo pace. It has a groove to it that hooks you pretty good.

“Train” opens with an upbeat riff and a classic AOR sound. The piano solo echoes a positive and fun sound overall. “Rosebud” opens with lightly struck piano notes and a bit of a somber sound. The bass guitar leads the way here and the cadence of the vocals settles into a rhythm. “Runaway through Time” opens with what sounds like a spacecraft taking off quickly, before settling into an easy listening tune. The chorus is repeated until it pummels you, but it does have a nice sound. “Hell to Pay” opens with soft piano keys and a tender sound. From there, it sounds a bit like a Stevie Nicks song…with plenty of emotion and the vibrato fueled voice of Wikstrand.  A keyboard solo caps the song nicely. “Mayday” has a simple but effective sound, with a little giddy up from the bass guitar but the guitars keep it a fairly thin sound.

“Blame me for Trying” has little more of a raucous heart out of the gates. The vocals fit really nicely into the overall sound here…kind of that perfect rhythm. The backing vocals are also on point, in this really fun sound. “Hope” closes the album. Tender clean guitars lead the charge. It has a somber sound but hopeful lyrics, urging you to go on and fight the good fight. Overall, it was a good album that was easy to assimilate. There really weren’t any moments that stood out per se, but as an album it was fun, and you can tell that the team of guest musicians had a good time with Wikstrand’s vision.

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

3 Star Rating

1. Anywhere you’ve gone
2. Call out my Name
3. Got Me
4. Train
5. Rosebud
6. Runaway through Time
7. Hell to Pay
8. Mayday
9. Blame me for Trying
10. Hope
Jonas Wikstrand – Everything
Olof Wikstrand - Lead Guitar on "Call out my Name" and "Runaway through Time"
Johan Hjalmar Wikstrand - Lead Guitar on "Got Me"
Eirik Røland - Lead Guitar on "Mayday" and "Blame Me for Trying"
Jacob Ansved - Rhythm Guitar on "Mayday"
David Zandén - Backup vocals on "Mayday"
Elin Wikstrand - Backup vocals on "Runaway through Time" and "Anywhere You’ve Gone"
Kerstin Krogh - Backup vocals on "Anywhere You’ve Gone”
Record Label: Evil Confrontation Records


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