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Fullforce - One

by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 28 August 2011, 10:02 PM

For a while I have been wondering where the blazing guitarist and ex-HAMMERFALL, Stefan Elmgren, has been hiding all this time. Well he didn’t actually hide, but nothing was heard from him for a while. However, Elmgren wasn’t the only one here that made an impact on this incoming review. Under the title of FULLFORCE some of the best Swedish Metal players joined together to erupt the streets with 80s oriented melodic Heavy Metal while having a small unification with Hard Rock. Better still, this band, with the release of their debut album, “One”, linked a contract with the German giant label SPV Records.

At first when I heard of FULLFORCE and Elmgren in particular, I immediately thought of his old little project of a band, while still being a member of HAMMERFALL, called FULL STRIKE. I thought that FULLFORCE was a sort of continuance to that group that only released a single, yet quite nice, release in 2002. Also the name of FULLFORCE gave me a quick possible idea, but after reading a bit, I found out that I was wrong. Moreover, this band wasn’t even formed by Elmgren but by other members of the PLANET ALLIANCE supergroup such as Mike Andersson (Vocals) and other ex-HAMMERFALL member and bassist, Magnus Rosen, that didn’t participate on this release. So as you can see, FULLFORCE is a whole new entity for the Metal world to get acquainted with.

Subsequent to the shards of info that I just gave you about FULLFORCE and their little story, there is “One” standing in the front podium. Essentially, this is great Heavy Metal and the Hard Rock ingredients that were inserted here and there only upgraded this supergroup’s efforts in the long run. Nevertheless, I had a little more expectations from this release as I wanted it to be slightly more inspirational that normal. “One” stands firmly as a traditional release but it felt to me that it lacked a small dosage of stimulation. In a way, vocalist Mike Andersson didn’t put a spell on me although his voice pattern, that merely reminded me of AOR singers, had a lovely flavour. Maybe I expected a type of voice that was a little bit more off the AOR scale.

The material was catchy, kind of commercialized on some parts, and easy to listen too. “Into The Cradle”, the closing valve of this release, was in my book the greatest track and my personal favourite. That song was a true 80s Hard N’ Heavy catchy hit. Its impressive traditional rhythm section that shared memories of WHITESNAKE and other Hard Rock acts of same variations, made me grin more than once. “Heart And Soul” and “Oblivion” were heavy engines filled with something between darkness and light emotions like tin cans with bleeding hearts, true classic tracks in the midst of 80s affiliations played and presented by a modern sound. “Wall Of Secrets”, see also the official video, and “Father Spirit” crushed with wonderful melodies and kick ass solos by the hands of Elmgren along with another crazy guitarist C.J. Grimmark. Both, as the former, were two additional classic competitors.

“One”is not HAMMERFALL, LOST HORIZON, DREAM EVIL, FULL STRIKE or whatever group each and every one of the line up used to, or still taking, part in. It has some similarities of course because traditional Metal is a commodity for many bands in Sweden and in the rest of the world. Here I found great talents on writing hits and easy to listen songs. SPV Records chose wisely to sign these guys up and fast, I am sure that the next release will knock my socks off.

4 Star Rating

1. Mythomaniac
2. None Of Your Concern
3. Heart And Soul
4. Oblivion
5. Open Your Eyes
6. Rain
7. Suffering In Silence
8. Walls Of Secrets
9. Father Spirit
10. I Bleed
11. Into The Cradle
Michael Andersson– Vocals
Stefan Elmgren– Guitars
Carl-Johan Grimmark– Guitars
Tommy Larsson– Bass
Anders Johansson- Drums
Record Label: SPV / Steamhammer Records


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