June 26, 2020

Sapphire Eyes is yet another Swedish band and, for a country with just ten million inhabitants, its contribution to the world of music is quite remarkable.  Formed as a project in 2011 by Niclas Olsson (Alyson Avenue, Second Heat), the self-titled debut was released in 2012 with the musicians effectively being hired guns. The reception of the album was enough to persuade Olsson to make the move from project to fully functioning band with new musicians coming in including Finnish vocalist Kimmo Blom and their second album, Breath Of Ages, was another well received one in 2018. They rapidly built up a reputation as purveyors of finely crafted and well polished melodic rock with many influences from the American giants of the genre.

They have now kept roughly the same team of exceptional musicians for album number three, with Kimmo Blom on vocals (Leverage, Urban Tale), Niclas Olsson on keyboards, twin guitarists Emil Knabe (Acacia) and Patrik Svärd (Cloudscape), Christer Engholm on bass (Alyson Avenue, Acacia) and Fredrik Eriksson on drums (Dawn Of Oblivion, Alyson Avenue). Fellow Swede Anette Olzon (formerly of Nightwish and now lead singer with Alyson Avenue and The Dark Element) provides backing vocals on Bring Back The Night, and her voice works perfectly with that of Kimmo Blom, I expect we will see much more of this combination in the future. The delivery of Blom is as perfect as you can get and his clear and sonorous voice is quite delicious. Sapphire Eyes have shown a true development with each new release, and Magic Moments is actually well-named as there are many of these in the album. Swathes of keyboards and highly controlled guitar breaks give life to a thrilling collection of songs full of melody with huge choruses and instantly hitting hooks. There are so many melodic/AOR bands around at the moment and Sapphire Eyes are definitely one of the better ones.