Published on April 8th, 2017 | by Justin G.
Eclipse: Monumentum (Frontiers)
These days, with so much music coming out on a regular basis and pretty much at our fingertips, itâ€™s hard to really get excited for an upcoming album. That steady barrage of music, good as it may be, makes it easy to get a new album, give it a spin or two and move on to the next one. A new Eclipse album though? Now thatâ€™s something to get excited about. This is a band that in a few short years has come to totally dominate the melodic rock scene, and a new Eclipse album is anything but ordinary. My ears perked up when singer/guitarist/songwriter Erik Martensson announced he was working on the new album last year, and from the title reveal to the first videos, my anticipation level only increased. It was like being a teenager again, getting excited about a new album and knowing my friends were all just as excited and would be listening to and talking about the same album for the rest of the year.
Fortunately, Monumentum does not disappoint in the slightest. Itâ€™s the bandâ€™s sixth album and it picks up right where Armageddonize left off. Martensson, along with guitarist Magnus Henriksen, bassist Magnus Ulfstedt and new drummer Philip Crusner, deliver another unforgettable serving of melodic rock thatâ€™s rooted in the old school sound but has a modern energy. All of the key Eclipse elements are here: the sharp, catchy melodies, Martenssonâ€™s powerful vocals (seriously, no one else sounds like this guy), the irresistible choruses, the big backing vocals, and that sense of electricity that runs through every Eclipse song.
I was a bit worried that with all of the side projects (Nordic Union, Ammunition, etc.) Erik Martensson is involved with, there might not be enough â€śAâ€ť material for a new Eclipse album. It took exactly one spin of Monumentum to put those fears to rest. Hell, album opener â€śVertigo,â€ť which has quickly become one of my favorite Eclipse songs, was enough. Then the even higher-energy â€śNever Look Backâ€ť came on and knocked me off my feet. The slower, more soulful â€śKilling Meâ€ť sounds like it might have come from the Nordic Union sessions, and â€śThe Downfall of Eden,â€ť with its almost folk-like melodies is this albumâ€™s â€śBattlegrounds.â€ť The ballad â€śHurtâ€ť is the albumâ€™s only bump in the road, but the second half of Monumentum has enough rockers to put the album back on track. â€śBorn to Leadâ€ť and â€śNight Comes Crawlingâ€ť in particular are highlights.
Somehow Eclipse manages to keep making lightning strike over and over again. Everything theyâ€™ve done since Are You Ready to Rock has been absolutely fantastic, and Monumentum is no exception. With a new Brother Firetribe album in hand, and new releases from Art Nation and H.E.A.T on the horizon, the competition is fierce, but right now I donâ€™t see anything unseating Monumentum as the yearâ€™s best melodic rock album.
Summary: Here's the first real Album of the Year candidate