March 30, 2020

Another quick jump in the time machine takes us back to the ’80s when several fledgling Norwegian bands were just starting out with bands like TNT and Stage Dolls gaining international recognition but it just did not seem to happen for Return, a melodic rock band out of Stange, Hedmark. Whilst not gaining the recognition that TNT did, they still had reasonable success and released several very good melodic/AOR albums and were big exponents of the slick power ballad which was very much the rage in the ’80s and early ’90s. V, obviously, their fifth album was released in 1992 and is now re-released as this is, perhaps, seen as the bands signature album.

Influences can be discerned from Def Leppard, Bon Jovi and Thin Lizzy and they have taken the slick and well produced sound of these bands to influence their direction and V really does stand up well today but it is obvious that it is an album from the ’90s but that is no bad thing as retro appears to be all the rage. The band is made up by very creditable musicians in Knut Erik Østgård (vocals), Steinar Hagen (guitar), Tore Larsen (bass) and Øyvind Håkonsen (drums) but the onset of grunge came at the wrong time for the band and they called it a day in 1994.

Return subsequently made a comeback in 2000 off of the back of a very well selling compilation album for concerts but, as of yet, no new material. Because they felt that V was, perhaps, their most international sounding album they have re-released it in re-mastered format and expanded booklet but only in a limited run of 1000 on a mail order basis from AOR Heaven. V is a slick, ballad heavy melodic rock album with transatlantic appeal from a talented band and they know how to produce hook laden rock.