July 24, 2021

I have this constant worry that somewhere in Sweden there is a guy with a beer in his hand sat in a lonely bar just wondering why he is the only man in that country not in a rock band! For a nation with around 10 million inhabitants Sweden has certainly punched above its weight when it come to rock bands that have made their mark in Europe and further afield. To this never ending list we must now add the name of Strÿkenine, the latest melodic hard rock band adding to Stockholm’s claim as centre of the rock world.

The band formed in 2015 and has had a couple of changes in personnel but now seems to have stabilised with Jacob Petäjämaa on vocals, Andi Sarandopoulos and Alex Zackary on guitars, Tony Bakircioglu on bass, Henrik Remesaho on drums with keyboards courtesy of Patrik Törnblom and Passi Oksman. It appears that the keyboards on the album are shared as Törnblom actually left the band in 2020 to pursue other paths and Oksman was then brought in to finish the record. The music is a typical Swedish take on melodic rock with a touch of aggression and attitude combined with so much energy that they could most probably light up Stockholm for a year! They have that unique Scandinavian sound encapsulated by the likes of TNT, Treat, Europe and Talisman but with a touch of the glam/sleaze of Motley Crüe and the smooth and mellifluous tones of Def Leppard. Jacob Petäjämaa has the usual clean, clear and sweet vocals expected from Swedish frontmen and his power and range gives the band a real boost which is backed by some amazing guitar but this is restrained and never outshines the rest of the band.

The songs are perfectly crafted examples of how melodic rock should be written and all is delivered beautifully. Melodic rock and AOR is an area that seems to be brimming over at the moment with special talent and Strÿkenine is another quality band to add to what is already available. Give the band a listen and you’ll see that this is a remarkably strong and perfectly compiled debut from a band with a definite plan. They may not achieve world domination but I wish them luck in the journey that they have just started out on as they certainly have the talent and songs to go a long way.

I track list

  1. Once And For All (4:44)
  2. All About Us (4:04)
  3. Toxic (3:38)
  4. Live And Die (3:38)
  5. Fool For Love (5:20)
  6. Religion (4:51)
  7. Falling Down (4:06)
  8. Hold On To You (4:31)
  9. Better Believe It (4:10)
  10. All I Need (3:33)
  11. Alive (4:33)