March 8, 2023

I have a love of all things melodic rock having been raised on the AOR giants of the Seventies and Eighties with bands like Toto, Journey, Foreigner, Boston, Heart, Pat Benatar and REO Speedwagon being ever present throughout my life with the United States being the spiritual home of all things melodic. There have been British and European groups that have come close to the mastery shown by the bands from across the pond with acts like Ten, Dare, Asia and Europe being every bit as good but for volume the US wins hands down.

Now, however, the baton definitely seems to have been passed on to the Scandinavians and I secretly believe that everyone is Sweden simply must be in a melodic rock band! I’m not sure how or why but the Swedes seem to have mastered the art of AOR and the list of bands that have complete mastery of the art form is seemingly endless and each new day seems to bring another refined and cultured record full of perfectly crafted, modern day melodic rock and all with a golden delivery and pitch perfect mid-Atlantic delivery.

Artic Rain is another of those jaw-droppingly good bands with a mature delivery that is just so smooth and cultured and it is incredible to think that that this is only their second album following on from The One which was their debut in 2020. There have been a couple of changes since the first album with the band now lining up with guitarist Magnus Berglund and singer Tobias Jonsson being joined by newcomers in Kaspar Dahlqvist on keyboards, Anders Janfalk on bass although the original bassist Gert Daun features on the title track and Richard Tonyson on drums. In truth, Tobias Jonsson and Magnus Berglund are the key players in the group and they give a continuity to the music with the new members seamlessly settling in and helping to contribute to the refined and golden music that the band plays so well. The core sound is based on the halcyon days of the ’80s AOR giants which is the case with so much of modern melodic rock and the production is crisp and clean to give it all a fresh and modern sound. Stunning guitars and melodious keyboards make this an easy listening delight with Tobias Jonsson again showing that he has a perfect voice very much in the David Coverdale and Joey Tempest style of delivery.

Unity is suffused with anthemic stadium rockers that have an instant appeal and if you are into Whitesnake, Def Leppard, Europe, Dokken, Journey etc then there is so much here for you to revel in.

Unity

  1. One World (5:40)
  2. Unity (5:27)
  3. Fire In My Eyes (4:36)
  4. Peace Of Mind (4:34)
  5. Laughing In The Rain (4:22)
  6. Believe (6:18)
  7. Out Of Time (5:00)
  8. Kings Of The Radio (4:24)
  9. When We Were Young (5:06)
  10. Time For A Miracle (3:47)
  11. The Road Goes On (4:11)

Unity iis