February 13, 2024

Open Sea is the second album by the Swedish melodic rock band Arkado following on from the debut Never Say Never which came out in 2020 on the AOR Heaven label and it’s fair to say that the label may have changed but the band remains firmly rooted slap bang in the middle of the AOR/melodic rock genre.

The history of Arkado goes back to 1983 when they were known as BB2 aka Better Be Together but it was a short-lived outing but a successful one-off gig in 2018 prompted the reformation and rebranding with a number of new musicians coming in. It looks like they still retain the same team of musicians with Philip Lindstrom (vocals/guitar), Mats Nilsson & Martin Kirschner (guitars), Mikael Skafar (drums), Bernt Lundgren (bass) and Mikael Svensson (keyboards) which means that they feature three guitarists which obviously makes them noteworthy but do not expect a wall of screaming guitars as that is very much not what Arkado is about! As with their first, this is hook-laden melodic rock heavy on ballads but rather lightweight when it comes to power and crunching riffs or even sweet solos but there is a professional control and delivery so that they do concentrate on the songs with some lovely harmonies.

Open Sea is another of those new AOR albums that adds little to what we already know about melodic rock and it stays very firmly within the groundwork already done by the likes of Journey, Bon Jovi and Europe but they have a long, long way to go until they can be added to the illustrious list of the heavyweights we all know and love. The accompanying publicity states that the new work is heavier and more symphonic that its predecessor but I disagree and, if anything, it is slightly less polished with a few rougher edges but keeps that radio-friendliness which is a big part of the AOR sound.

Give it a whirl if you love all things melodic but there are better bands out there and I cannot help but think that Arkado has taken a step backwards rather than forwards!

Open Sea

  1. Voyage (1:34)
  2. Open Sea (4:28)
  3. Running Through The Night (3:08)
  4. I Gave My Heart (4:00)
  5. You Make Me Feel (4:25)
  6. Rising High (4:16)
  7. Her Mothers Lullaby (3:50)
  8. Long Way To Go (3:38)
  9. Unchain The Night (3:18)
  10. Like Something Heaven Sent (4:18)
  11. Show Me The Light Again (4:10)