Released on October 11, 2019 (Frontiers Music Url)
How many bands deliver exactly what you want from them? Not many. In fact, very few. Most of the time, high expectations for a studio album from a top rock n’ roll act is met with disappointment as the band is experimenting with new sounds (H.E.A.T for example with their last studio album Into The Great Unknown), loses its way (for example, Santa Cruz who landed the #1 album on Sleaze Roxx’s Top Ten Albums of 2013 with Screaming For Adrenaline before never making the top ten again with their more modern sound) or comes up with an average effort (such as Tom Keifer‘s latest studio album Rise). Little known Shock rhythm guitarist John Tennant‘s theory is that most artists have three great albums in them so that would certainly explain why many bands fall short time and time again after releasing a great album. Eclipse seem to be an exception to this theory as it can easily be argued that their last five studio albums including their latest one Paradigm have been great ones and certainly at least “good” ones.
Accordingly, there is no need to say that my expectations were quite high for Eclipse‘s seventh studio album Paradigm. I must say that although I wasn’t totally blown away by Eclipse‘s four advance singles for Paradigm (“Viva La Victoria”, “Mary Leigh”, “United” and “The Masquerade”) since I only listened to them a couple of times at most before getting the album. However, I was blown away by how good the four tracks were as well as the rest of Paradigm once I listened to the record as a whole. Eclipse have delivered on all fronts coming up with exactly the type of album that I was hoping to get from them — their upbeat, powerful and melody filled (without sounding wimpy) brand of rock n’ roll with bombastic and easy to sing along to choruses. Right from the first few notes off the opener “Viva La Victoria”, I found myself thinking “Oh yes, this is classic Eclipse!” I think that’s a real tribute to Eclipse to having been able to find their sound after their first two studio albums that Erik Mårtensson once described to me (almost while cringing) as “demos.” Clearly, Eclipse now have their defined sound and instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, they obviously decided to give people exactly what they like about the band on their latest record.
Let’s start with the first four singles off Paradigm. “Viva La Victoria” is like the ultimate representation of what I picture Eclipse to be. If I had to choose just one song to define Eclipse, that track just might be the one. Although Eclipse have referred their song “Mary Leigh” as part AC/DC, I really fail to hear that AC/DC connection. It’s standard (which is great!) Eclipse fare with a cool chorus and some timely “hey hey” that would surely make it a very fun track to play live. “United” may be the gem on Paradigm and reminds me a bit of “The Downfall of Eden” from the band’s last studio album Monumentum. “The Masquerade” is the epic track on Paradigm and one powerful song. You have to hand it to Eclipse and their team for being able to choose the right tracks as the advance singles for the album. It always puzzles me when I hear way better songs on an album once I obtain it than what was released as singles for it. Other standouts include “Delirious” and “Never Gonna Be Like You.” I was surprised that Eclipse closed out Paradigm with the ballad “Take Me Home” but the track actually works quite well to end the record.
Unlike Monumentum which had a couple of “weaker” tracks and a bit of experimentation such as on the heavier and darker “Black Rain”, Paradigm delivers exactly what I wanted to hear from Eclipse. I have always said that when melodic rockers are able to successfully incorporate elements of power metal into their songs, it has the potential to be out of this world. Eclipse continue to prove that they are the best when it comes to consistently finding the sweet spot between melody and power. I just wish that the band would come to North America a little more often because the one time that I did see them live at the Rock N Skull back in 2016, that turned out to be one of the best live sets that I have ever seen. While I patiently wait for Eclipse to hopefully come back to play live semi-close to Toronto in Canada, at least I can listen to one of the best records of the year — Paradigm.
01. Viva La Victoria
02. Mary Leigh
03. Blood Wants Blood
04. Shelter Me
07. When The Winter Ends
08. .38 Or .44
09. Never Gonna Be Like You
10. The Masquerade
11. Take Me Home
Erik Mårtensson – vocals, guitar, keyboards
Magnus Henriksson – guitar
Magnus Ulfstedt – bass
Philip Crusner – drums
Mixed, mastered and produced by Erik Mårtensson
Reviewed by Olivier for Sleaze Roxx, November 2019
Eclipse‘s “Viva La Victoria” video:
Subscribe To Our Channel: http://radi.al/SubscribeFrontiers | Shop our U.S. & EU webstores: http://radi.al/FrontiersMusic | From the album PARADIGM. Buy or Stream: https://orcd.co/eclipse Available on CD/Vinyl/Limited Edition Color Vinyl/T-Shirt Bundles/Digital Follow Our Spotify Playlists: +Rock Ain’t Dead http://spoti.fi/1rQz5Zm +New Breed http://spoti.fi/1Wnkke9 +AOR Forever https://spoti.fi/2Hvx27K +Frontiers Classics!
Eclipse‘s “Mary Leigh” single:
Subscribe To Our Channel: http://radi.al/SubscribeFrontiers | Shop our U.S. & EU webstores: http://radi.al/FrontiersMusic | From the album PARADIGM.
Eclipse‘s “United” video:
Subscribe here for more videos – http://radi.al/SubscribeFrontiers | Stream/Download “United” HERE: http://radi.al/EclipseUnited Swedish rock band ECLIPSE have announced that their new single, ‘United’ has been named the official theme song for Dreamhack Showdown, a new CS:GO Tournament. Dreamhack, the world’s largest video game festival organizer chose the song ‘United’ after hearing an advanced copy of Eclipse’s upcoming album, PARADIGM.