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Pearls & Flames - Reliance Award winner

Pearls & Flames
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 01 November 2022, 1:50 PM

As one can think today, the accessible subgenres of Metal and Rock found a secure bay to anchor in the Northern countries of Europe, especially Sweden. There’s a massive wave of bands of such genres there today, changing the old days of Sunset Strip in USA for the pubs of Stockholm and others. And more and more projects and bands of Glam Metal, Hard Rock and AOR are delivering good stuff, keeping the genres alive and actual. And one more is the trio PEARLS & FLAMES with “Reliance”.

As the first album of a band composed by former members of acts as COASTLAND RIDE, STREET TALK and BIG PRICE, too much can be expected of them, and due the collaboration with the songwriter, producer and guitarist Tommy Denander, one will find that defined and melodic form of AOR that was a massive commercial success in the USA during the 80’s, with bombastic melodic hooks, charming instrumental arrangements, melodic vocals and all those elements that the fans are used to hear. And in the hands of the trio, things gain a boost of energy and freshness, being far of something moldy and full of dust. It’s really charming and accessible, able to earn them tons of fans.

The production is signed by the band with the mixing being done by the hands of Tommy himself (he’s known for his works with PAUL STANLEY, HOUSE LORDS, just to name a few) and mastered by Mike Lund, what’s a guarantee of something done with care, but with a clear and spontaneous organic feeling in many moments. It’s clean and defined, and for sure it’s very good.

The band made something fresh and full of energy that’s able to convince even the most exigent of the fans of these subgenres. It’s a matter of giving a chance for you to hear such moments as “Can We Find the Love” (a tender and accessible song, with tender melodies, excellent chorus with vocals and backing vocals in great shape), “Temple of Lust” (a bit more agitation can be heard on its melodies, something inherited from Rock ‘n’ Roll, with charming guitar riffs and solos), “Love Can Heal Your Heart” (an elegant, accessible and grandiose moment of the album, with 70’s-like melodies and charming vocals), “We Will Meet Again (Cross My Fingers)” (another moment where there are resemblances with 70’s AOR, and is plenty of Pop moments, and what good work on bass guitar and drums), “Wires and Frames” (this one shows some moments near classic Hard Rock due its weight, and some Progressive parts on the keyboards, and as it’s an instrumental song, the exhibitions are amazing), “Follow the Road” (another tender moment rich in accessible melodies and charming vocals), “It Won’t Get Better” (a moment with a clear melodic energy that boosts its appeal),  and “Heroes of Our Time”.

“Reliance” is really a very good album, and PEARLS & FLAMES deserves applause for sure.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Can We Find the Love
2. Temple of Lust
3. Love Can Heal Your Heart
4. We Will Meet Again (Cross My Fingers)
5. Goodbye
6. It Never Took Away Your Smile
7. Secret Love
8. Wires and Frames
9. Follow the Road
10. It Won’t Get Better
11. (I Don’t Know Who I Am) Anymore
12. Heroes of Our Time
Markus Nordenberg - Vocals
Sven Larsson - Guitars
Tomas Coox - Keyboards
Record Label: Pride & Joy Music


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