January 14, 2021

Creye is a melodic rock group from Sweden and there are no prizes for guessing that this is the second album released by the band! The self-titled debut hit the market towards the end of 2018 and showed a fully developed and mature band playing super slick melodic rock that was rich, powerful and full of the expected hooks and vocal harmonies. These were all then neatly delivered in crisp four minute songs that were so redolent of the ’80s yet still fully modern and fresh. The maturity was all the more surprising given that the band had only been formed in 2015 by guitarist and songwriter Andreas Gullstrand and their Straight To The Top EP in 2017 earmarked them as a band to keep an eye which Frontiers Music subsequently did with an record deal following pretty quickly afterwards. The debut album was an absolutely outstanding melodic rock album and the follow up has been keenly anticipated to see if the band could maintain and even expand on such a quality and dramatic entry into the world of AOR.

The wait is now over and the album is here and the first point that needs making is that there have been several changes within the band. Founding member, lead guitarist Andreas Gullstrand returns alongside Fredrik Joakimsson on rhythm guitar with Gustaf Örsta on bass and Arvid Filipsson on drums. However, vocalist Robin Jidhed and keyboard player Joel Rönning left the band shortly after the debut album was released to pursue other career paths and I really did think that the impact of losing Jidhed and his amazing voice would cast a very big shadow over the band. These fears soon dissipated as soon as the album started to play when the graceful, clear and sweet voice of August Rauer erupted from the speakers, he is a singer who seems to have it all and is destined to become a major player on the melodic rock scene, what a voice and very reminiscent of the greats who fronted the huge American AOR bands of the ’70s and ’80s, yes he’s that good! New keyboard man Joel Selsfors has settled in really well too and he provides neat keyboards and some lovely solos to complement the splendid guitar work of Andreas Gullstrand and Fredrik Joakimsson. Again, the songs are all around the 4 minute mark with Gullstrand and his team continuing to show that they are masters at writing sublime and epic melodic rock songs and the ballads and rockier numbers complement each other to make this a perfect and fully rounded AOR album. The Swedes seem to do transatlantic melodic rock so well and everything about the albums points to a band playing with style, verve and a togetherness that will serve them incredible well for the future.

This is melodic rock very much in the territory of Danger Danger, H.E.A.T., Work Of Heart and Europe too and if you are into AOR then this is an album you must hear. Sheer class.

II track list

  1. Broken Highway (3:41)
  2. Carry On (2:56)
  3. Find A Reason (3:48)
  4. Siberia (3:10)
  5.  Face To Face (3:47)
  6. Can’t Stop What We Started (3:52)
  7. Lost Without You (3:38)
  8. Hold Back The Night (3:41)
  9. Let The World Know (2:55)
  10. Closer (3:04)
  11. The Greatest (3:22)
  12. War Of Love (4:06)