I am starting to believe that the new rule of thumb on determining a band’s origin is that if they are melodic rock, refined, modern and supremely skilled with an instant and mid-Atlantic delivery then they must be Swedish. Such is the case with Arctic Rain, a new and ambitious rock band that has released such a well defined and beautifully produced debut album, which is so mature that it is almost unbelievable. The core of the band is guitarist Magnus Berglund, singer Tobias Jonsson and songwriter/keyboardist Pete Alpenborg with the addition of bassist Gert Daun and drummer Jonas Jönsson, and they have obviously got that touch of magic about them that makes the band stand out from many of the current crop of new melodic/AOR bands. They obviously know that being stupendous musicians is simply not enough as a band will live and die by the songs they produce, and they score very highly on this front as the eleven tracks that make up the debut are nothing short of phenomenal. You only need to check the list of bands that Alpenborg has written songs for to see that he is a definite A-list celebrity of the melodic rock song writing world!
The musicians combine to perfection and play with such ease and fluidity on the classic metal cuts that make up The One – all based around an ’80s and ’90s vibe but with the latest modern production and recording techniques to make the album sound so ‘modern’ and ‘now’. There is such a melodic feel to the album with every note in exactly the correct place, and with Daun and Jönsson building a huge platform on which Berglund and Alpenborg lay down such explosive licks and runs. Indeed, the guitar work of Magnus Berglund is so exceptional that you cannot stop yourself from being blown away. If icing on the cake were necessary – and it really is not – then this is supplied by the confident, assured and soaring voice of Tobias Jonsson, a sort of cross between David Coverdale and Joey Tempest. Stunning guitar, great harmonies and immense choruses, this is stadium rock at its finest, and if it had been released in the ’80s then Arctic Rain would be every bit as big as Whitesnake, Def Leppard, Europe, Dokken, Journey et al. I confidently predict that Arctic Rain will become one of the premier melodic rock bands of the decade, and you should get this album as a priority. Stunning rock music from a band destined for greatness!
Track list: Love Of My Life (4:26), Lost (4:25), Friends (4:09), Night After Night (3:59), Free My Mind (2:58), Give Me All Of Your Love (4:01), Lift Me Up (4:15), The One (4:09), Breakout (2:54), Madeleine (4:34), Take Me To Your Heart (4:38).